Greening the Wharf
For the past three years, the Sydney Theatre Company Co-Artistic Directors, Cate Blanchett and Andew Upton, have committed to “greening the Wharf”. Their initiative involves installing a rooftop solar power system across the landmark Wharf 4/5 that is large enough for the Theatre Company to eventually become carbon neutral.
The Government Architect’s Office was engaged to provide specialist heritage and engineering services to transform the Wharf into an icon for solar power technology.
Construction of the Sydney Theatre Company (STC) solar power system began in July this year and is expected to be completed mid-November. About 800 of the 1900 planned solar panels have been installed. Once completed the 380kW solar array will be the second largest rooftop solar power system in Australia, reducing STC's energy needs by up to 65% and offsetting carbon emissions by an estimated 10,700 tonnes over the lifetime of the system.
The "Greening the Wharf" project recently won two Green Globe Awards, which were received by Sydney Theatre Company Co-Artistic Directors, Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton. The awards included the Premier's Award for Sustainability Excellence and an award for Community Sustainability.
The solar panels use a technology developed by the University of New South Wales. This technology showcases the world-leading role Australian research institutions have achieved in commercialising climate change innovation. Once installed, the Government Architect’s Office will have assisted in adaptively remodeling Walsh Bay into the world’s first artistic green precinct and powering enough renewable electricity to run 1,600 computers every day.