Switching on to Solar

4 years ago | by

Solar Depot staff installing panels on Woolgoolga Library

Work has begun on the first sites chosen for Council’s major solar energy push to help reach its target of using 100% renewable energy as an organisation by 2030.

Woolgoolga Library and Council’s Woolgoolga Depot are the first buildings to have solar panels fitted under the ‘Powering Ahead’ project and work is due to start this week on Woolgoolga Beach Holiday Park. Once that is completed, installation will begin on the Coffs Harbour Community Village, Sawtell Beach Holiday Park and Toormina Library.

In all, 16 Council facilities will be part-powered with solar energy through this project, which is part of the Coffs Harbour Renewable Energy and Emissions Reduction Plan.

The targets set by the Plan include:

  • 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.

Local companies Solar Depot and Enesol are undertaking the installation and management of the work. Once completed, the cost of installation will be recouped in five years through the savings made on Council’s annual electricity bill.

Solar power generating systems will eventually be installed at the Woolgoolga Depot, Council’s Coastal Works Depot in Coffs Harbour, the Office (Block A) of 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.

‘Powering Ahead’ is expected to 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. We have since replaced these with even more energy-efficient LED lights.
  • 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.

Follow the progress of the Powering Ahead project.

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