Tweed Shire Council revs up solar installations


Tweed Shire Council is revving up its Renewable Energy Action Plan (REAP) after a unanimous vote to install 10 solar projects worth more than $1 million as part of the next phase of its REAP program launched in 2017.

Tweed Shire (the Tweed), is looking to reach net zero emissions in its electricity usage by 2030, a feat which is already being pursued with more than 20 Council facilities sporting solar arrays already.

This next phase of REAP will see the Council nearly triple its solar capacity, reaching 2,200 kWp with an expected saving in excess of $220,000 annually.

Tweed Mayor Chris Cherry said it would be through a combination of “energy efficiency works, installation of renewable energy systems, carbon offsets and purchasing renewable energy we are aiming to meet Council’s target of reducing electricity-related carbon emissions by 25% next year (from 2016/17 baseline), 50% by 2025 and to have achieved net zero emissions by 2030.”

The purchase of renewable energy has been underway since October 2020, when Tweed Shire Council announced a 10-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Flow Power. The deal sees Council buy more than 50% of the electricity used to run its larger facilities from wind and solar farms, including the Bomen Solar Farm near Wagga Wagga.

Among the facilities to receive solar arrays as part of REAP’s second phase are the Tweed Regional Gallery, which is currently exhibiting Sidney Nolan’s Ned Kelly Series, and works from the Lismore-born great, Margaret Olley.

Other sites include the Banora Point Community Centre, Tweed Regional Aquatic Centre, Kingscliff Water Pump Station and the Tweed Regional Museum, all soon to be adorned with solar panels.

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