Energy plan saves ratepayer dollars

Article image - Energy plan saves ratepayer dollars The new solar rooftop installation on the Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre

Tweed Shire Council, New South Wales, is on track to save ratepayers more than $225,000 per year by self-generating an estimated 1300 MWh/pa of solar power.

Council’s solar power generation has increased from 300 MWh/pa since a Renewable Energy Action Plan (REAP) was adopted in November 2017.

The estimated solar power generated from rooftop and ground-mounted solar at 15 Council facilities this year is equivalent to the annual electricity used by 250 four-person homes in the Tweed local government area.

Tweed is investing $5.2 million to achieve $1 million in annual energy cost savings through 32 energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that include improvements in streetlights, indoor lighting, wastewater treatment and heating/ventilation systems, as well as rooftop solar and batteries at council facilities.

Through implementing actions from the REAP, Tweed Shire Council aims to produce 25 percent electricity from renewable sources by 2022, increasing to 50 percent electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

In addition, Council will investigate opportunities for power purchase agreements and larger solar installations.

Tweed Shire Council is a founding member of Business Renewables Centre in Australia (BRC-A) and recently joined the Cities Power Partnership, a national program that brings together Australian towns and cities making the switch to clean energy.

Tweed is also among 7500 local government areas that form the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.

This is the world’s largest cooperative effort among mayors and city leaders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, track progress and prepare for the impacts of climate change.