Solar panels on community buildings

Port Stephens Council has installed solar panels on 14 community buildings to continue driving sustainable, renewable energy and reach the region’s carbon neutral by 2025 goal.   

Port Stephens Council Mayor, Ryan Palmer, said Council is investing in initiatives that protect the incredible natural beauty of Port Stephens,  so that it can be enjoyed by future generations.

“The installation of these solar photovoltaic systems on community buildings across Port Stephens is part of our broader commitment to driving sustainability through investment in renewable energy options,” Mayor Palmer said. 

“We’ve already installed solar at our Administration Building, Raymond Terrace library, Tomaree library, community centres linked to Rural Fire Service (RFS) stations and Salamander Waste Transfer Station. 

“This latest round includes four sports complexes, all three aquatic centres, the Visitor Information Centre, Nelson Bay Depot and Fingal Surf Club.

“We aren’t immune to the impacts of climate change. Increased sea levels, intensity and frequency of storms, plus bushfire and rainfall patterns, are challenging the way we manage our environment.” 

Council said it recognises the role it  holds as a community leader in environmental sustainability and minimising the environmental impacts of its facilities. 

The Port Stephens draft Community Strategic Plan 2022 – 2032 presented at the Council meeting on 28 June, ensuring the Port Stephens community vision for the next decade is for an environment that is clean, green, protected and enhanced.

Asset Section Manager, John Maretich said the project isn’t only positive for the environment but for Council’s energy costs.

“By installing these solar photovoltaic systems on 14 community buildings, we’re saving $91,920 on our yearly energy costs and reducing the total energy usage on these facilities annually by 25 per cent,” Mr Maretich said.

“As we continue to implement actions from our four year Delivery Program to achieve carbon neutrality, we’ll continue to work with external funding bodies including the New South Wales Government to seek financial assistance.”

All solar panels are expected to be installed by mid August.

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