Seven of Dubbo Regional Council’s (DRC’s) facilities are currently installing solar panels, helping DRC save up to $70,000 a year in electricity bills. The installation will help Council in achieving its Energy Strategy goal to obtain 50% of its predicted electricity consumption from renewables by 2025.
Mayor of the Dubbo Region, Stephen Lawrence, said that Council’s Energy Strategy and Implementation Plan 2020 – 2025 will help DRC achieve its vision of becoming a leader in regional NSW in the continued adaptation to and use of renewable energy, aided by the installation of these solar panels.
“This project will help us reach that target. This solar panel installation alone is expected to save up to 300 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, which is equal to the electricity use of about 54 homes,” said Councillor Lawrence.
Some of Council’s biggest electricity users will benefit from the upgrade, with panels installed on the Wellington and Dubbo Aquatic Leisure Centres, Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre, Dubbo Showground, Macquarie Regional Library and the Dubbo and Wellington Civic Administration Buildings. Installation of the panels has been made possible through $270,000 of funding from the Australian Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program (LRCI).
“I’m pleased that councils in the Parkes electorate, like Dubbo Regional Council, are getting on with spending this money, which will not only improve local amenities, but will support job creation, construction businesses, and economic growth,” said Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton.
After a competitive quotation process, Tindo Solar, a Clean Energy Council approved solar retailer, was contracted by DRC to complete the work. Tindo Solar is the only Australian solar panel manufacturer and has engaged a local sub-contractor, Platinum Electricians Dubbo, to complete the installation.
“Not only are we the only company to make solar panels here in Australia, we are committed to using qualified and experienced local sub-contractors wherever our panels are installed,” said Tindo Solar CEO, Shayne Jaenisch. “We are very pleased that Dubbo Regional Council has selected high-performance Australia-made solar panels in its energy transition.”
The solar panel installation project will triple the amount of photovoltaic (PV) systems installed throughout DRC facilities, with other major installations including a 70kW system at the Western Plains Cultural Centre, a 30kW system at the Hawthorn St Depot, and a smaller 12kW system at Barden Park.
“This project is just one of the many ways in which Council is striving to reduce its emissions, while increasing the economic and environmental benefits to the community. In 2020, Council upgraded 88% of its street light network to LED technology, saving electricity and maintenance bills by more than $450,000 for that year alone,” said Councillor Lawrence.
In addition, DRC is a member of the Cities Power Partnership Program (CPP), in an effort to accelerate Australia’s transition to a renewable energy future, and ultimately slash greenhouse gas emissions. The key actions of Council to be part of the CPP, include committing to installation of renewable energy on council buildings, as well as installation of energy efficient lighting across the LGA.