Swimming pool goes green

Article image - Swimming pool goes green Environmental Sustainability Officer Aaron Izzard.

The 68kW solar system on the roof of the Mount Gambier Aquatic Centre was switched on earlier this month, making it one of the ‘greenest’ swimming pools in Australia.

City of Mount Gambier Environmental Sustainability Officer Aaron Izzard said all of the centre’s electricity would now come from solar power generated at the site.

“In addition, all the energy for heating the pools comes from biomass – another source of renewable energy,” he said.

The installation forms part of a wider roll out of solar power across Council sites. Solar systems have also been installed at the Library, Council Depot, Carinya Gardens Cemetery and the Waste Transfer Station. In total, Council now has more than 171kW of solar power installed at its sites.

“The systems are projected to produce over 239,600kWh of clean electricity per year. That’s enough to power the average South Australian home for more than 46 years,” said Mr Izzard.

The combined solar systems are expected to save more than $46,000 per year in electricity costs, and more than 130 tonnes per year in carbon emissions.

“The biomass boiler was installed in 2013 and runs on wood chips from the local forestry industry.

“The wood chips originate from plantations that are regrown, making the fuel source carbon neutral. Using wood chips also supports the local economy through the forestry industry.”

The installation of the biomass boiler and the solar systems forms part of Council’s commitment to reducing impact on the environment, said Mr Izzard.

“Not only are these options more environmentally friendly, but ultimately will save Council, and ratepayers, money.”