Shoalhaven closes in on renewable energy target

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Shoalhaven City Council (Council) is making progress towards its renewable energy policy target with the installation of 200 solar PV panels atop the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre rooftop.

The array amounts to an 81 kW solar PV system installed by local company Simmark. Council applauded its selection of the Entertainment Centre rooftop as a significant portion of its electricity consumption occurs in daytime. Evidently, many of the region’s shoals are left empty during the day as locals crowd into the cinema.

Mayor Amanda Findley said this project is just another example of Shoalhaven’s commitment to sustainable energy, bringing the City closer to its net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050.

“Once commissioned, the new solar installation is set to reduce the electricity consumption of the Entertainment Centre by around 20% per year,” said Findley, “resulting in an annual saving of $12 500 for Council. The Solar power generation will also save 91 tons of carbon emissions a year, which is the equivalent of taking 30 cars off the road.”

The array, estimated to generate around 112,000 kilowatt-hours of renewable electricity every year, is hoped to encourage other local residents and businesses to take up solar PV.

The installation falls in line with the Council’s Sustainable Energy Policy adopted earlier this year. A policy designed to drive future investment in renewable energies and emissions reduction. The plan seeks to promote initiatives that would increase the uptake of rooftop solar by the community and businesses toward a target of 33% of dwellings by 2025.

“The Policy also establishes targets for Council to source or generate electricity supply for its operations from renewable energy sources” noted Findley, “with an interim target of 25% renewables by 2023 and eventually 50% by 2030.”

In addition to the Entertainment Centre in Nowra, Council has also installed solar PV systems on other sites in Ulladulla, Berry and Bamarang.