As the need for energy and our reliance on fossil fuels become increasingly perilous, councils across the state are looking to renewable power as the way to navigate our future needs.
Tweed Shire Council has begun a 10-year Power Purchase Agreement with retailer Flow Power to supply electricity to Council’s largest sites.
The agreement includes buying more than half of Council’s electricity to run its larger sites from NSW wind and solar farms.
The Power Purchase Agreement sources energy from Sapphire Wind Farm, near Glen Innes, and the new Bomen Solar Farm, near Wagga Wagga.
Mayor of Tweed Cr Chris Cherry said Council was supporting the construction and ongoing production of renewable energy sources in Australia through this agreement.
‘We have taken the lead from other large organisations, such as the Sydney Opera House and Newcastle City Council, who similarly signed these agreements, which will greatly assist our nation transform from a reliance on brown energy to energy sources such as wind and solar,’ said Cr Cherry.
Council recently adopted a new Climate Change Policy that sets a goal for the organisation to achieve net zero carbon emissions by the year 2030.
Renewable Energy Action Plan
To achieve this goal, a Renewable Energy Action Plan has been developed. Under this plan, Council has completed a broad range of energy efficiency works and has installed more than 800kW of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems across Council facilities. It plans to install a further 750kW of solar PV at more sites this financial year.
Tweed Shire Council also is working with Essential Energy to replace existing streetlights with new efficient LED (light emitting diode) lights. This program is expected to reduce the electricity needed to power streetlights by more than half.
These local projects, combined with Council’s intention to progressively increase its supply of renewable energy, will enable Council to achieve its interim targets of a 25 per cent reduction of electricity-related carbon emissions by 2022 and a 50 per cent reduction by 2025.