As part of its push to save energy, Wingecarribee Shire Council has just installed a solar power system on the roof of the Southern Highlands Information Centre (SHIC) in Mittagong.
Council estimates the installation of the 9kw solar power system will save the organisation around $2,700 per year and subsequently reduce the organisation’s carbon footprint by approximately 13 tonnes each year.
“The Information Centre is the perfect site for this solar installation as it operates seven days a week, 52 weeks of the year,” said Barry Arthur, Council’s Manager of Environment and Sustainability.
“This means that the majority of the solar energy generated by the installation will be used on site by the SHIC.”
Mr Arthur further explained the benefits of the scheme.
“The system installed takes full advantage of renewable energy,” he said. “Because we’re using the energy directly on site from where we captured it, the money saved in reduced power costs is actually much higher than what Council would receive from the power company if we supplied the energy back into the electricity grid.”
Steve Rosa, Acting Group Manager of Tourism, Economic Development and Events said the introduction of the solar panels builds on the work already undertaken to develop the Information Centre as a leading edge Information Hub.
“The installation of the solar panels compliments our new branding of Destination Southern Highlands as a must-see environmentally sensitive region,” he said. “Apart from making great economic sense, it’s also an endorsement of our organisation’s sustainability aspirations.”
Further solar panel installations are being investigated on Council facilities including the soon to be opened Moss Vale War Memorial Aquatic Centre.
For more information on the SHIC solar power system, or future Council energy programs, contact Council’s Environment and Health Systems Coordinator on phone 4868 0888.