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Council's energy costs to plummet after major solar switch-on

Noosa Council will install major solar power systems on four of its buildings to help achieve its 2026 carbon-neutral goal.

Noosa Leisure Centre, Noosa Aquatic Centre, The J and the Noosaville depot will be equipped with new solar-power systems between now and April.

Combined, the panels will produce more than 356,000 kWh of electricity annually, saving Council an estimated $38,000 a year in electricity costs.

The systems will shave around 277 tonnes of CO2 from Council’s carbon footprint each year, paying for themselves in the form of energy cost savings within seven years.

"The solar power systems are also compatible with new battery technology. However, at this stage, almost all of the electricity that the panels generate will be consumed on site,” says Mayor Tony Wellington.

The solar roll-out is among a raft of emission-busting activities Council has approved as part of a detailed action plan to support its goal of achieving zero net emissions by 2026.

“The action plan outlines a range of measures to reduce our carbon footprint including behavioural change initiatives, as well as process and technical changes,” the Mayor said.

“Installing the solar systems is one of the pledges Council made as a foundation member of the Cities Power Partnership.”

Council’s Tewantin administration building is already equipped with solar panels, and the new digital hub at Peregian Beach will soon have 112 solar panels, plus a battery to store energy.

Mayor Wellington said the work Council had done over the past year to calculate a baseline carbon footprint was now paying off.

“We had to wait for the data from all of Council's facilities and operations to be collated and analysed before we could begin introducing carbon reduction initiatives. But we are better off for having done that work as we now have an essential baseline to measure our progress. We can now head toward our 2026 zero-net-emissions goal knowing exactly what we are achieving in the way of reductions,” he said.

"Ultimately, this will be an environmental win as well as an economic win."

19 January 2018

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