Council Invests in Major Solar Energy Push

4 years ago | by

Pictured are (left to right): James Tonson (Corporate Sustainability and Planning Specialist), Jason Bradbrook (Solar Depot), Troy Ryan (Solar Depot), Kersten Schmidt (Enesol), Council Project Manager Greg Hughes, Heather Reid (Acting Section Leader Community Planning and Performance), Elisabeth Nicolson (Corporate Sustainability and Planning Specialist).

As part of a strategy to use 100% renewable energy as an organisation by 2030, Coffs Harbour City Council is to push ahead with the installation of solar systems at 16 of its facilities throughout the local area.

The Coffs Harbour Renewable Energy and Emissions Reduction Plan was adopted by Council in 2016 with the goal of significantly reducing both the organisation’s emissions and energy costs through long-term investment in energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies such as solar.

The targets set by the Plan included:

  • Council reducing its annual corporate CO2 emissions as an organisation from 2010 levels by 25% by 2020 and by 50% by 2025.
  • Council’s energy use as an organisation to consist of 25% renewables by 2020, 50% renewables by 2025 and 100% renewables by 2030.

Following a tender process which attracted 10 submissions, the contract has been awarded to local business Solar Depot. The project will be managed by Enesol, another local company.

The company will install solar power generating systems at the Woolgoolga Works Depot, the Coffs Harbour Works Depot, the Office (Block A) Coffs Harbour Community Village, the Cavanbah Centre, Sawtell Beach Holiday Park, Woolgoolga Beach Holiday Park, Park Beach Holiday Park, Toormina Library, Woolgoolga Library, Coffs Harbour War Memorial Olympic Pool, Karangi Dam, Karangi Water Treatment Plant, Woolgoolga Water Reclamation Plant, Coffs Harbour Water Reclamation Plant (East), Coffs Harbour Water Reclamation Plant (West) and Coffs Harbour Regional Airport.

Work is expected to start on the first project within the coming weeks and will be completed by mid-2020.

Coffs Harbour City Council has a long history of seeking energy-efficient solutions.

In 2004, Coffs Harbour became the first council in Australia to introduce energy-efficient street lighting across its entire local government area.

In 2009, a landfill gas capture facility – the first of its kind on the Mid North Coast – was installed at the Coffs Coast Resource Recovery Park.

In 2010, Coffs Harbour City Council installed the largest public rooftop solar power array in NSW on the top of Rigby House which saves $30,000 per annum in electricity costs.

In addition, we have solar photovoltaic power panels on the Castle Street car park, at the Botanic Garden and at Woolgoolga Lakeside Holiday Park.

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