Coun­cil em­braces so­lar tech­nol­ogy

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

Coun­cil has adopted a proac­tive ap­proach to im­prove en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and re­duce costs by in­vest­ing in so­lar tech­nol­ogy.

Mayor An­drew Will­cox said em­brac­ing so­lar op­tions would al­low Coun­cil to cut op­er­a­tional costs and rein­vest funds into other projects for our com­mu­nity and ratepay­ers.

“Within Coun­cil’s 2016/17 Bud­get a pilot pro­gram was funded to in­stall so­lar pan­els on our fa­cil­i­ties to re­duce en­ergy costs,” he said.

“The ad­di­tional $960,000 in fund­ing from the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment’s Work for Queens­land (W4Q) pro­gram will en­able Coun­cil to bring forward the in­stal­la­tion of so­lar power sys­tems on a range of build­ings and facil­ties across the re­gion,” he said.

“In­cluded in the scope for the in­stal­la­tion of so­lar pan­els are Coun­cil’s ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ings, de­pots, li­braries, air­port and treat­ment plants,”

“In­stalling so­lar pan­els in fa­cil­i­ties such as the air­port was ex­pected to have a pay­back pe­riod of three years,”

“The W4Q pro­gram will en­able Coun­cil to im­me­di­ately achieve the full cost sav­ings from the in­stal­la­tion on pan­els rather than wait the three years.”

Coun­cil has re­leased a ten­der for a panel of pre­qual­i­fied sup­pli­ers to as­sist in de­liv­er­ing the so­lar panel pro­gram. It is in­tended the panel will con­sist of suit­ably qual­i­fied sup­pli­ers from each town­ship to de­liver the projects funded un­der the W4Q, as well as con­tin­ued investment by Coun­cil for fu­ture projects.

Pic­tured right: Coun­cil has al­lo­cated $3.5 mil­lion from the W4Q fund­ing to­wards new play­ground fa­cil­i­ties such as play equip­ment and soft­falls, new and up­graded BBQ fa­cil­i­ties, and new and up­graded shade struc­tures (a mix of sails and fixed shade struc­tures) across the whole Whit­sun­day Re­gion. Coun­cil will en­gage as many lo­cal con­trac­tors and builders as pos­si­ble across the re­gion.

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