Lake Macquarie City Council is starting off the New Year with new energy, thanks to the installation of 60 kilowatts (kW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the Swansea Centre.
Council's Manager Sustainability, Alice Howe, said the new system produces an average of 250 kilowatt hours (kWh) per day, enough to power 12 Lake Macquarie households, and will save Council $22,000 per year in electricity costs.
“This new system adds to the 99 kW of clean energy sources already installed across Council buildings,” Alice said.
“We are on track to achieve our target of 200 kW by 2018, with plans underway to install another system on the Works Depot at Boolaroo later this year.”
“Alternative energy sources have a two-fold benefit of reducing pollution and saving money for our ratepayers, so the installation of solar PV makes economic and environmental sense.”
Lake Macquarie City Council say they are committed to a more efficient use of resources and assets, and are currently implementing resource conservation programs through the sustainability objectives outlined in Council's Environmental Sustainability Action Plan 2011-2018.
The Plan sets out a framework for sustainability planning, decision-making and action, to achieve improved environmental sustainability for the City of Lake Macquarie.
In its drive towards sustainability, Council has initiated the Walk the Talk program which has introduced a range of measures designed to reduce their carbon emissions including:
- the uptake of 15% GreenPower for Council's largest 15 facilities
- installation of solar panels on five Council facilities – 73 MW hours of electricity; 78 tonnes of CO2 and $15,000 savings
- reviewing the Customer Service Centre energy management – 150 MW hours of electricity saving $30,000
- installation of Charlestown pool covers – 150 tonnes of CO2; $30,000 saving
- installation of Voltage Reduction Units at Art Gallery and Works Depot – 115 tonnes of CO2; $15,000 saving