Towards A Sustainable Energy Future

Solar Cities LogoThe Solar Cities Program is a $75 million dollar initiative launched in 2004, initially managed by the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA).  The program is currently managed by Department of the Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) and has two objectives:

  • Demonstrate the economic and environmental impacts of integrating cost-reflective pricing with the concentrated uptake of solar, energy efficiency and smart metering technologies
  • Identify and implement options for addressing barriers to distributed solar generation, energy efficiency and electricity demand management for grid connected urban areas.


There are currently seven Solar Cities participating in the program: Adelaide, Townsville, Blacktown (NSW), Alice Springs, Moreland, Perth and Central Victoria.  Each Solar City consists of a consortium of organisations that collectively roll out projects that use a combination of solar power and energy-efficient technologies, smart meters and new approaches to electricity pricing.  Projects involve all levels of government, the private sector and local communities.

SRA Information Technology was engaged by the Solar Cities section to finalise business requirements in order to design a database and web application and then to design and develop the Solar Cities Data Warehouse (SCDW) and provide ongoing support.

Meeting the Challenge >>

The solution provided by SRA is a web-based application which has two modules for internal and external users as well as a nightly database procedure. The project was undertaken using SRA’s proven 4D applications development methodology. SRA staff also provided project management, user interface design, documentation and testing services to successfully complete the project.

The SCDW is the central location for data collected from smaller separate databases maintained by participating Solar Cities. The functions that were required of the SCDW:

  • Internal administration of external users including user accounts, passwords, personal information etc
  • Scheduling of regular data uploads for each city, for specific types of data
  • Uploading data with validation into the database from Solar Cities through a web-enabled interface
  • Email alerts and reminders based on scheduling and validation outcomes
  • Reporting on provided data

Outstanding Features >>

The solution provides a way for consortia members to load csv data for 19 different datasets including NEM12 and NEM13 data and to access file import details and details of recent data loads.

The Internal Module allows the internal administrative users to maintain external Solar City users, manage reference data, see the status of the all Solar Cities data loads, manage the help content of the system and generate pre-defined reports. 

Other key features are:

  • A configurable data validation engine allows changes to data validation rules instantly
  • A configurable development framework allows the addition of new data collection spreadsheets with minimum impact to the system and without requiring new development
  • User friendly navigation that requires minimum training for both internal and external users


Each night a regular procedure, that captures all data files loaded within the last 24 hours, carries out the following functions via a built in framework:

  • Validation of data from 19 different csv files
  • Inserting data into business tables when no validation in the data exists
  • Generating error reports for invalid data
  • Sending emails to Solar Cities in regards to the status of the load

Comprehensive Benefits >>

Effective data collection and monitoring arrangements are critical to the success of the Solar Cities Program. Relevant data needs to be collected and analysed in order to assess the nature and extent of economic and environmental costs and benefits associated with the integrated package of technologies and measures used in Solar City projects.

The Solar Cities Data Warehouse is the repository for the data collected from each Solar City, and provides the source data for addressing many of the reporting objectives of the program.  

The SCDW give administrative users the ability to centrally manage the solar cities and their users. Pre-defined reports provide statistical summaries of the current data in the SCDW for senior management and  Business Intelligence tools provide for ad-hoc reporting requirements.

Leading Edge Technology >>

The SCDW is a web based JavaEE application utilising an Oracle 10g database, the Tomcat Application Server, Hibernate, JasperReport and Oracle Discover Reports.

Further Information >>

Find out more information about the The Solar Cities Program here


Case Studies

Find out how companies have utilised SRA's expertise to provide innovative solutions.

  >> Case Studies By Industries

  >> Case Studies by Solutions


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