Solar Power on Council Buildings

In 2012, Council developed a Distributed Energy Plan which looked at how Council can reduce energy consumption and save money at the main energy consuming facilities.

Recommendations for energy efficiency included lighting retrofits, air conditioning upgrades, energy management systems, increased insulation and shading as well as modifying use of water pumping systems. The most significant recommendation was for installation of solar power systems.

Solar Installations

Bathurst Regional Council continues to be green and install solar PV (photovoltaic) solar power systems on its buildings to help curb rising energy costs. By 2015 Council had installed more than 120kW of solar generation in five years. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 170 tonnes of carbon dioxide (equivalent) each year, and saves Council an estimated $46,000 annually.

Council's solar installations are funded through a Revolving Energy Fund, which reinvests savings from previous projects. The price of solar panels has dropped, allowing much larger projects to be funded from the savings of smaller installations. In the graph below, blue points are the size of solar installed in any one year. The green line represents the total amount installed up to and including that year.

Graph of installations to 2016

The Water Filtration Plant and the Waste Water Treatment Plant are the Council's largest users of electricity, and have the largest solar installations.

A History of Solar Projects

Some of Council's larger solar projects include:

2009 and 2012 Bathurst Visitor Information Centre 

Council received funding through the Australian Government's 'Nation Building - Economic Stimulus Plan' to install 2kW of solar power. The system was opened by the Federal Member for Macquarie, the Honourable Bob Debus on 26 August 2009.

In 2012 a 4.2 kW expansion was installed. 

BVIC solar panels
2011 Mount Panorama

 

A 10 kW solar power installation on amenities blocks provide lighting as well as generating excess electricity that feeds back into the grid for use elsewhere.

 
2011 Scallywags

Scallywags Child Care Centre had 7.2 kW installed.

 

 

2011 National Motor Racing Museum The NMRM, near Mount Panorama, had 6 kW of solar power installed. NMRM Solar for website
2013 Bathurst Regional Council Depot

The Peel Street depot had 84 panels installed, totalling 27.4kW

PeelSt Depot Solar for website
2014

Water Filtration
Plant (WFP)

Council installed 50 kW at the Filtration Plant which consisted of 56 modules in three arrays. This system is estimated to reduce carbon dioxide (equivalent) emissions by more than 70 tonnes each year.

Solar WFP installation
2014

Bathurst
Information and Neighbourhood Centre

The Neighbourhood Centre had 7.2 kW installed.  
2015

Little Scallywags

Little Scallywags Child Care Centre had 4 kW installed.

 

 

2016 Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) Installation of a 100kW system to provide around 5% of the energy required to run the WWTP and reduce Council's annual emissions by around 140 tonnes of carbon dioxide (equivalent). WWTP solar installation

 

 

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