Sydney councils are doubling their solar generation


Blacktown City Council is not here to give dolphins haircuts, the Sydney district is wasting no time meeting its 2040 net zero carbon emissions target by doubling its solar generation in one go. That is, 1,876 solar panels installed across 16 sites, and all by a single installer, Solar Professionals, thought to be an Australian first. 

The 16 sites include leisure and aquatic centres, libraries, childcare and community centres. The additional 707 kW of solar generation will more than double the Council’s current solar rooftop capacity, and save $170,000 on its electricity bill every year. 

“In February, Council acknowledged that we are in a state of climate emergency and we committed to a target of 100% renewable electricity for Council operations by 2025,” said Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM. 

“Doubling our solar generation capacity will contribute greatly to meeting those targets by increasing our use of solar electricity and reducing emissions,” Bleasdale continued. 

In the agreement between Blacktown City Council and Solar Professionals, Council makes no upfront payments with costs included in the ten-year Power Price Agreement. Not only that, but Council dodges all the other network and ancillary costs normally associated with grid power, and at the end of the ten-year period, Council owns the panels. 

It’s “truly a win, win, win,” said Bleasdale finally. 

However, it must be said that Blacktown City Council is not the only Sydney district revving up its solar uptake. Only yesterday, Inner West Council installed its 36th solar array, a 250 kW system atop the new Ashfield Aquatic Centre that will also roughly double its solar generation. 

Solar soaking up the sun atop Ashfield Aquatic Centre.

Image: Inner West Council

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said that this is another example of Inner West Council aiming to be a national leader in renewable energy. “We want the Inner West to punch above our weight in the national environmental debate,” Byrne continued. “This large new solar array at Ashfield pool is another important step in our goal to becoming 100% renewable and carbon-neutral by 2025.” 

Inner West Council already has an agreement to buy clean energy from Moree Solar Farm, an innovative way for Council to reach its ambitious target set in February of 1000% increase in solar generation of the next decade. 

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