Improving energy resilience

Western Downs Regional Council in Queensland is set to invest $810,000 in solar technology to power high-energy facilities in the region.

The commitment to invest in solar was handed down in Council’s 2016/17 Budget.

The investment will slash Council’s electricity costs for facilities including swimming pools, nursing homes, buildings, galleries and libraries.

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said investing in solar energy makes a lot of sense for Council’s operations and will help reduce operational costs over the medium term.

“As we can, see solar technology is moving ahead at a cracking pace, which is evident from the number of large-scale renewable energy projects being proposed across the region at the moment,” said the Mayor.

“The third wave of energy development is here with renewable energy following in the footsteps of coal and coal seam gas.”

Spokesperson for Council Facilities Councillor Ray Brown said it was a logical step for Council to take advantage of the new technology to reduce its long-term energy costs.

“It’s a simple decision for us. The Western Downs region has enormous solar potential and Council is well placed to make a strategic investment now in order to reap the long-term benefits that switching to solar delivers.

“The age of solar has arrived – it’s our time to improve energy resilience and create clean, healthy communities.”

Managing Director of Condamine Electric Company, Gavin Walton, said he supported Council’s decision to move to a brighter, more energy efficient future.

“Commercial and industrial electricity prices continue to rise, whereas the electricity price for solar continues to fall.

“It also reduces carbon emissions and drives greener electricity consumption which is more financially compelling for businesses.”