Becoming a more energy efficient council

Community life - 7 August 2018

A significant reduction in carbon emissions and energy costs have been the results of a solar system installed at Kempsey Shire Council’s Works Depot.

Installed at the Thompson Street depot in West Kempsey, the system, comprising of 212 panels, has avoided the discharge of 78,615kgs of CO2 emissions and generated 73,748 kWh of energy. This is the equivalent of driving a car 392,000kms.

The usage of the system varies but predominately provides power to equipment in the depot’s workshop.

While initial estimates projected that the system would save around $14,000 per annum, the system has proven to be saving Council around $2,100 each month or $25,000 per year.

The solar system was funded by a Waste and Sustainability Improvement Payment provided by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) from Waste Levy payments collected from users of Council’s landfill operation.

Council’s Manager of Commercial Business, Gayleen Burley, said Council is committed to becoming a more sustainable organisation.

She said with the success of the depot solar system, Council is currently investigating other ways it can utilise renewable energy sources.

One of the initiatives council is currently looking into is switching over to LED lighting which is said to be not only more energy efficient but requires less maintenance and power.

“While it is currently still in the planning stages, Council has been in discussions with Essential Energy about the possibility of partnering to implement a LED bulk replacement program of current street lighting across the shire,” she said.

“We are also looking into changing over to LED lighting at some of council’s community assets such as public toilets and sporting facilities as well as at Kempsey Shire Library and council’s Civic Centre in West Kempsey.”

Solar panels on Thompson Street depot roofCouncil installed 212 solar panels at the Thompson Street depot in West Kempsey