Shoalhaven City Council has adopted a new Sustainable Energy Policy at its Ordinary Meeting on 28 May 2019. The Policy will provide a driver for future investment in energy efficiency, renewable energy and emissions reduction for Council’s operations.
The Policy extends to Council encouraging the Shoalhaven community’s transition away from fossil fuels to more renewable energy generation and battery storage for households, businesses and industry.
Shoalhaven City Council’s Mayor, Amanda Findley, said: “Approximately 17 per cent of dwellings in the Shoalhaven LGA currently had solar panels installed."
The Policy will promote relevant initiatives to the community and businesses to increase the uptake of installed rooftop solar panels across the Shoalhaven LGA towards a target of 33 per cent of dwellings by 2025.”The Policy also establishes targets for Council to source or generate electricity supply for its operations from renewable energy sources, with an interim target of 25 per cent renewables by 2023 and eventually 50 per cent from renewable sources by 2030.
The transition for Council towards reducing fossil-fuelled energy consumption for assets and transport under its control will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts.
Shoalhaven Council has already commenced work to lower its electricity bills, carbon emissions and generate more renewable energy. Berry Wastewater Treatment Plant has a new innovative 22.5kW solar photovoltaic (PV) and 20kWh storage battery installation.
The majority of the 68 solar panels were ground-mounted along a disused concrete channel island that offered a good northern aspect to maximise sunshine. The storage battery is recharged by the solar panels and is a trial for Shoalhaven Water to test renewable energy options in its wastewater operations. The new system is estimated to reduce grid power consumption at the plant by 20 per cent.
Bamarang Water Treatment Plant also has a new 25 kW solar PV system installed on the roof of the main building. The solar power generated will result in a 20% savings in electricity consumption from the grid.
Director of Shoalhaven Water, Carmel Krogh said: “The Bamarang solar project will utilise clean energy to provide clean water for the Shoalhaven community”.
“Shoalhaven Water is the largest user of electricity in Council and these solar projects are positive steps towards a progression to more renewable energy in the future."
Other sustainable energy initiatives currently underway at Shoalhaven City Council include a trial of three fully electric vehicles (EVs) for Council’s fleet.
This follows on from Council’s adoption of the ‘Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station on Public Land Policy’. Council is also in negotiations with Endeavour Energy to replace old Mercury Vapour residential street lights with energy efficient LED lights.
This project would work towards achieving the target set in the new Sustainable Energy Policy to ‘upgrade all street lighting to energy saving LEDs by 2025’. Many of these energy and emissions reduction initiatives are implementing Shoalhaven Council’s pledges made under the national Cities Power Partnership program, which Council has been a member of since 2017.