Tweed Shire backs solar under Renewable Energy Action Plan


Tuesday, 04 May, 2021


Tweed Shire backs solar under Renewable Energy Action Plan

Tweed Shire Council has committed to a new two-year program of renewable energy and energy efficiency works across its facilities.

In a meeting held mid-April, Council voted unanimously to move to phase two of its Renewable Energy Action Plan, which includes 10 solar projects worth more than $1 million.

Council is aiming to achieve net zero emissions from electricity usage by 2030.

There are already solar arrays installed at more than 20 Council facilities saving 1185 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually — the equivalent of 66 average households.

The phase two rollout will almost triple Council’s current solar capacity to more than 2200 kWp (kilowatts peak), which is expected to save up to $220,000 per year on energy costs. 

Solar projects in the second phase of the action plan will take place at: 

  • Tweed Regional Gallery 
  • Banora Point Community Centre 
  • Tweed Regional Aquatic Centre — Tweed Heads South
  • Kingscliff Wastewater Treatment Plant 
  • Bray Park Water Pump Station
  • Bray Park Water Treatment Plant 
  • Tweed Regional Museum — Records Storage Centre 
  • Murwillumbah Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Hastings Point Wastewater Treatment Plant 
  • Uki Water Treatment Plant
     

Projects at Banora Point Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Tweed Heads Administration Office were deferred from the initial phase of the plan and will also be completed over the next two years.

Mayor of Tweed Shire Chris Cherry said Council was working to respond to the challenges of climate change.

“Through a combination of energy efficiency works, installation of renewable energy systems, carbon offsets and purchasing renewable energy, we are aiming to meet Council’s target of reducing electricity-related carbon emissions by 25% by next year (from 2016–17 baseline), 50% by 2025 and to have achieved net zero emissions by 2030,” she said.

“The Renewable Energy Action Plan, launched in 2017, is designed to reduce Council’s electricity grid use, provide operational cost savings and reduce Council’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

Other works Council is currently completing to reduce its carbon footprint include:

  • replacing 5700 existing streetlights with energy-efficient LED lights;
  • replacing 1800 older lights with LED lights at Council’s facilities; and
  • replacing older equipment, such as water pumps, with new more energy-efficient systems.
     

Council also purchases around half of its electricity supply from NSW wind and solar farms after signing a 10-year agreement with energy retailer Flow Power in 2020.

More information on Tweed Shire Council’s response to climate change is available here.

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