New solar power system cuts costs

The solar power system installed in Kempsey Shire Council’s depot is providing good benefits to Council with savings in electricity costs and the reduction in greenhouse gases.

Council’s Director Infrastructure Services, Robert Scott, said the 50kW solar power system on the roof of the workshop at the Thompson Street Works Depot was going really well.

“Since becoming fully operational the new system has avoided the discharge of 15,582 kilograms of CO2 and generated 14,617 kWh of energy.”

The system is expected to generate enough power to supply half of the power requirements of Council’s Depot and will return excess power generated to the grid. Cost savings are expected to be in the order of $14,000 per annum and will increase with future electricity charges.

“The savings are something we can put back into other services,” Mr Scott said.

“Over the life of the system it will generate almost $300,000 in ongoing savings for the community, which is a significant amount.”

The system was funded by the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s Waste and Sustainability Improvement Payment; from waste levy payments collected from the users of Council’s landfill operation.

“In the near future we will have live information on our website so residents can see the performance of the solar power system,” Mr Scott said. “This initiative couples with some simple improvements which were undertaken in Council’s main office to reduce unnecessary electricity use and we will be looking for further opportunities to reduce costs over the long term.

“Council has undertaken further investigations into the widespread use of solar power on a lot of our sites and as the opportunities arise the community can expect to see more systems being installed.”