Monday, June 24, 2024

Bega powers up Clean Energy Certificates

Bega Valley Shire Council has announced a significant milestone in its commitment to renewable energy with the successful export of power from its latest solar energy site to the grid.

Solar panels recently installed on the newly established Water and Sewerage Services Operations Depot have been linked to other installations in the Bega area, creating the Council’s most extensive solar energy generation site to date.

Water and Sewerage Services Manager, Steve Marshall said the new solar project now enables Council to qualify for the registration and trading of Large-scale Generation Certificates with the Australian Clean Energy Regulator.

“Our latest site boasts a peak-power output of 285kW and is anticipated to generate a substantial 300MW-hours of energy annually,” Mr Marshall said.

“In terms of consumption, this energy output can power 40 average Australian homes for an entire year or be likened to the fuel capacity of 685 cars, each holding 50 litres of petrol.

“What this boils down to is taking about 60 tonnes of coal out of the energy generating process each year, which contributes significantly to environmental sustainability.”

Mr Marshall said the interconnected sites at South Bega reservoirs, the Bega-Yellow Pinch Pumphouse and the Bega Water and Sewerage Operations Depot host a total of 620 large solar panels, with inverters strategically placed to optimise energy flow into the main switchboard.

“Collaborating with Energis Australia, our project partners helped with the design, procurement and integration of equipment,” Mr Marshall said.

“A local provider, Transition Electrics, undertook the installation process and establishment of communications.

“This marks the third successful implementation of a solar energy site on our Water and Sewerage assets, with the first being the 2015 IMAGINE project; an award-winning collaboration with Clean Energy for Eternity that significantly reduces the carbon footprint of our Tathra Sewage Treatment Plant.

“As our commitment to sustainable practices continues, we are currently working with local contractors to connect three additional Water and Sewerage sites.”

This achievement sits alongside a 10-year Power Purchase Agreement with Red Energy and six regional councils, which provides a cost-effective way for Council to meet its 100% renewable energy target through sourcing energy from the Metz Solar Farm near Armidale.

Together, these projects align with Council’s Clean Energy Plan, which aims to integrate energy efficiency and renewable energy practices across Council operations.

The Council says the implementation of renewable energy generation remains a top priority, as outlined in its Community Strategic Plan 2040.

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