On TRAC to meet energy goals

Tweed Shire Council, New South Wales (NSW), has installed its largest solar system to date on a council facility, saving 200 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year, the equivalent of emissions from 11 average households.

Deputy Mayor of Tweed, Councillor Chris Cherry and local environmental champion, 11 year old Alyce Togo, flicked the switch last month on a new 486 panel array at the Tweed Regional Aquatic Centre (TRAC) in Murwillumbah.

“I’m so pleased to be here today with Alyce to make the switch to solar at TRAC and I’d like to thank the NSW Government for providing $198,202 in funding for this project through the Stronger Country Communities Fund.

“Council is committed to protecting and enhancing the Tweed’s beautiful natural environment for current and future generations, who are represented here today by Alyce.

“One of the ways we are doing that is by committing to produce 25 percent of our own electricity from renewable sources by 2022, and 50 percent by 2025.

“With this installation, half of the council buildings targeted for solar have now had panels installed, saving 750 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere.

“We’re now well on our way to meeting the renewable energy goals outlined in Council’s Renewable Energy Action Plan.”

Alyce recently campaigned to have compost bins placed in all classrooms at her school and participated in the recent Clean Up Australia Day at Chinderah.

The rooftop installation of 486 solar panels (165kW) will reduce the pool’s annual power bill by nearly 20 percent or about $42,500.

The pool is Council’s third largest facility for electricity use, after the Banora Point Wastewater Treatment Plant and the water pump station at Bray Park Water Treatment Plant.

“With an electricity bill of nearly $235,000 last year - just over 1,000,000 kWh - these savings are certainly good news for ratepayers as well as the environment.”