Tweed Shire Council has committed to a two-year program of renewable energy and energy-efficiency works across its facilities.
In April, the council voted unanimously to move to phase two of its Renewable Energy Action Plan — which includes 10 solar projects worth more than $1 million with the aim to achieve net zero emissions from electricity usage by 2030.
There are already solar arrays installed at more than 20 council facilities with phase two set to almost triple the council’s current solar capacity to more than 2200 kWp (kilowatts peak). This is expected to save up to $220,000 per year on energy costs.
Solar projects in the second phase of the action plan will take place at:
Tweed Regional Gallery Banora Point Community Centre
Tweed Regional Aquatic Centre — Tweed Heads South
Kingscliff Wastewater Treatment Plant
Bray Park Water Pump Station
Bray Park Water Treatment Plant
Tweed Regional Museum — Records Storage Centre
Murwillumbah Wastewater Treatment Plant
Hastings Point Wastewater Treatment Plant
Uki Water Treatment Plant
Projects at Banora Point Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Tweed Heads Administration Office were deferred from the initial phase of the plan and will also be completed over the next two years.
Mayor of Tweed Shire Chris Cherry said the council was working to respond to the challenges of climate change.
“Through a combination of energy-efficiency works, installation of renewable energy systems, carbon offsets and purchasing renewable energy we are aiming to meet Council’s target of reducing electricity-related carbon emissions by 25% by next year (from 2016/17 baseline), 50% by 2025 and to have achieved net zero emissions by 2030,” she said.
“The Renewable Energy Action Plan, launched in 2017, is designed to reduce Council’s electricity grid use, provide operational cost savings and reduce Council’s greenhouse gas emissions.”
Other works the council is currently completing to reduce its carbon footprint include:
replacing 5700 existing streetlights with energy-efficient LED lights;
replacing 1800 older lights with LED lights at Council’s facilities;
replacing older equipment, such as water pumps, with new, more energy-efficient systems,
Council also purchases around half of its electricity supply from NSW wind and solar farms after signing a 10-year agreement with energy retailer Flow Power in 2020.