Goulburn Mulwaree Council builds Australia’s largest solar lighting project along the Wollondilly River Walkway
Goulburn Mulwaree Council (GMC)
PP3 Pedestrian code dimmed down to PP5
The Wollondilly River Walkway is a popular trail for hiking, biking and running, offering picturesque riverside views and a place of solitude within the historic city of Goulburn, NSW. Spurred by community requests, the Goulburn Mulwaree Council successfully secured a Federal Sport and Recreation Grant to fund SMART public lighting along the popular pathway. After a successful first stage, council extended SMART public lighting for another 2km. Now at a total of 6km, it is Australia’s largest solar lighting project.
Safety concerns within growing local community
In recent years, the population in Goulburn has increased and as a result, the Wollondilly River Walkway has been experiencing greater patronage. Public safety had become a concern as levels
of unacceptable behaviour and crime had increased alongside the growth in population. Prior to implementing Leadsun’s solution, this popular recreational area did not have lighting, making it unsafe and unwelcoming at night, thus limiting its potential for use and limiting opportunities for exercise after dark. To alleviate these concerns and improve public safety, the local community made a request to the council to invest in creating a safer and more inviting environment. This led to the council securing a Federal Sport and Recreation Grant to install lighting around the well-known walkway.
Local conditions calls for grid-free lighting solution
Whilst most of the walkway was clear of shading issues, two sections of the pathway were heavily shaded by trees. This required a tailored engineered solution to ensure all lights worked reliably throughout the year. The local area was also prone to flooding, presenting a challenge for traditional underground electric configurations, and therefore the council had to ensure it was installing the most dependable and robust systems available.
As the walkway was long, determining the locations of lights whilst also meeting compliance presented an additional challenge when selecting the best lighting solution. Due to these concerns, it became clear that a traditional cable electrical installation was too cost-prohibitive, unreliable, and environmentally disruptive to deliver. However, Leadsun’s grid-free SMART solar lighting solution provided a cost effective, reliable, and environmentally friendly alternative that overcame these obstacles and thus was selected.
The solar alternative – the best alternative
Leadsun worked closely with Goulburn Mulwaree Council and the installation contractor to design the best lighting solution to meet their needs. This involved extensive site surveys to establish optimum pole positions to meet compliance. The project was delivered in 3 months to the council and the community’s delight.
In stage 1, covering 4kms of the pathway, Leadsun employed source-remote systems for the heavily shaded areas. These use a powerful source solar engine to remotely power several remote lights via shallow safe 12V DC wiring. Ideal for flood prone areas, all solar and electrical components of the Leadsun SMART solar lighting systems are located at the top of the pole to prevent water damage.
In Stage 2, an additional 2km of SMART Solar Lighting was installed along the pathway, including six solar lights in a connecting car park, ensuring safety for visitors as they entered and exited the area.
A safer, more welcoming walkway
Following completion of the first two stages of the Wollondilly River Walkway lighting project, the Northern and Southern sides of the Wollondilly River pathway network have been lit, allowing easy access from ten separate locations. The Goulburn Mulwaree Council has plans to add additional stages in the future.
Thanks to efforts made by the local council, contractors and Leadsun’s Project Manager, the local community can enjoy safety whilst walking, biking or running along the Wollondilly River shared pathways in the evenings and early mornings. As a result, outdoor activity has increased and the local community has responded overwhelmingly positively to Leadsun’s SMART solar lighting installation. Lighting along the Wollondilly River Walkway also proved to be a major community asset during the COVID-19 lockdowns as more people began exercising in local outdoor areas.
Angus Taylor, Minister for Energy, and Goulburn community member said of the project “Council’s use of sustainable energy options reflects community expectations. There is an increasing awareness that we can all do our bit to reduce carbon emissions across a broad range of smaller scale projects and in our individual lives. Along with many Goulburn residents, I enjoy running this track early in the morning or later in the afternoon. The lights will be a great addition to the pathway, particularly in winter.”
Leadsun Products Used
- P Category lighting compliance – AS/NZS 1188.8.131.520 PP3/PP5
- Number of lights – 180
- Solar module series – AE3
- Solar size – 80W
- LED output programming – 30% dusk to dawn PIR active 30seconds
- Pole footing type – In Ground & Ragbolt
- Pole type – In Ground & EZYLift
- Additional solutions – EDGE
Acknowledgement of Country
We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which this project was undertaken, the Gundungurra People. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.
Council’s use of sustainable energy options reflects community expectations. There is an increasing awareness that we can all do our bit to reduce carbon emissions across a broad range of smaller scale projects and in our individual lives. Along with many Goulburn residents, I enjoy running this track early in the morning or later in the afternoon. The lights will be a great addition to the course, particularly in winter.
Local Federal Member, Angus Taylor (Minister for Energy)