The Suntrix team is full of passionate and experienced people working across a variety of roles to ensure that we deliver on our promise of high quality commercial solar systems. To give you, our customer, an in-depth look at what drives Suntrix and staff we have created a little series that will profile each of our commercial team members from across the country, showing you just what makes us such a skilled and qualified team. We head first to Brisbane to talk to our Commercial Solar Consultant Mark Ivison.
Name: Mark Ivison
Role: Commercial Solar Consultant
What is your work experience in the renewable energy industry?
I am very proud of being in the renewables industry in Australia since the very early days. Working for a distributor we saw solar panels for $10/watt and most solar systems went into off-grid remote locations, generally with battery banks and diesel gensets.
I have also had some time in the wind industry, being involved in the sale of a number of wind farms including Cape Bridgewater and Cullerin Range. Not much beats the excitement of seeing a huge crane lift a 92 meter rotor onto an 80 meter tower. Fantastic technology.
In more recent times I have been back working in the solar industry, primarily in the commercial sector. I really see solar as the future of renewables in this country. Not just due to our wonderful solar resources but also because solar offers the versatility to be employed as base load in solar farms, through to systems for businesses and residential systems affordable for every household.
Who buys commercial solar?
All types of businesses are now installing solar power systems. From aged care centres to bowling clubs, from schools to government departments, from poultry farms to nurseries, any business that uses electricity can benefit from the installation of a solar power system. And as we move more and more towards being a ‘7 days a week’ society the benefits of solar systems become even more pronounced.
What benefits can commercial solar offer?
Well the obvious benefit is that the business owner can generate free electricity on their roof space rather than buying the increasingly expensive product from the electricity retailer. But more broadly commercial solar can be seen as a component of an overall energy management plan for the business, including energy efficiency, power factor correction and peak load management. Done correctly this type of plan can offer very significant cost savings for any business.
What one thing makes you passionate about solar energy?
It’s easy to be passionate about solar energy. Not only does it offer businesses and households real cost savings on the electricity bills but every solar panel installed boosts our sustainability as a society and fights climate change. Who could not love working in an industry that does all that?
What do you love about living in Brisbane?
The thing about Brisbane, at least for the moment, is that it is pretty much a perfect size. We have world class restaurants, cafes and bars, we get all the best theatre and sporting events, without the crowds of Melbourne and the traffic chaos of Sydney. Of course the climate is great, with winters here being more like one long spring time, and the summers are one long barbeque season.
Where is the best coffee in Brisbane?
I really don’t feel qualified to answer that. Brisbane has great coffee now, but this has only really been the case for the last few years. So many fantastic little cafes have sprung up, especially in the suburbs and for the most part all are doing very good coffee. Personally we like Oasis on the waterfront at Redcliffe. Great coffee and great views over Moreton Bay.
Where is your favourite place to eat in Brisbane?
If you are in Brisbane you must eat seafood of course. And there are many great seafood restaurants but our favourite is Jellyfish. Situated right on the Brisbane River, in fact it went well under water in the 2011 floods, it has great food, fantastic service and spectacular views of the Storey Bridge. Of course I can also recommend a pre-dinner drink or two at the nearby Riverbar, also right on the river.
What is the one place or experience you tell visitors to Brisbane to not miss?
The city and Southbank are definitely worth seeing for any visitor. But for something different I always recommend a visit to the Redcliffe Peninsula, my home. This beautiful area, surrounded on three sides by Moreton Bay, is only 30 minutes from the city but runs at a much more leisurely pace. There are glorious parks all along the waterfront, cafes with great views, and famous restaurants such as Morgan’s Seafood and the Golden Ox. Redcliffe is also a popular jumping off point for whale watching cruises, and is only another 30 minutes to Steve Erwin’s Australia Zoo.