Solar installs move shire towards renewables target
THE Surf Coast Shire council will install solar panels or battery storage at nine of its buildings as it works towards the organisation’s target of 100 per cent renewable energy use.
The installations are part of the council’s climate emergency response and will take place from the middle of this month until the end of June.
They follow work completed on four council buildings fitted with a collective 135 kW of solar in 2020, and will bring the total installed solar system capacity on council buildings to more than 570 kW.
Cr Kate Gazzard said she was pleased to see the council continuing to expand the use of clean energy to reduce greenhouse emissions.
“Council has a strong track record of installing solar at its facilities to reduce its costs and our corporate greenhouse gas emissions,” she said.
“It’s fantastic to expand this program to include further community buildings which have incredible capacity to feature this kind of green technology.”
Six of the solar installations will reduce the ongoing operating costs of the facilities as well as increasing renewable energy generation capacity:
- Torquay Senior Citizens – 25 kW
- Winchelsea Senior Citizens – 20 kW
- Moriac Community Centre – 10 kW
- Anglesea Senior Citizens – 10 kW
- Anglesea Kindergarten – 10 kW
- Lorne Community Connect – 6 kW
The council has also worked with RACV Solar to identify sites that provide bushfire or emergency response functions and could benefit from solar and battery installations as part of the RACV’s Resilience in the Regions grants program, and will install solar and battery sites at three locations:
- Aireys Inlet Community Hall – 15 kW solar and 13.5 k Whs storage
- Ellimatta Reserve, Anglesea – 22 kW solar and 16.3 k Whs storage
- Eastern Reserve, Winchelsea – a further 12 kW solar and 13.5 kWhs storage
“The solar and battery installs at these sites will be delivered as part of this year’s solar program at no cost to council, enhancing the ability of these facilities to provide critical support to the community in times of emergency,” Cr Gazzard said.
“This initiative by RACV Solar aligns very well with council’s climate emergency response and transition to 100 per cent renewable energy and I’m glad we are taking part in it.
“This is a step towards our community becoming carbon neutral by 2030, which many people are calling for.”