The City of Cockburn has been recognised as a leader in sustainability for its Renewable Energy Plan (REP), which has reduced carbon emissions in the city by more than 73,000 tonnes annually. 

LG Professionals WA, Western Australia’s peak representative body for local government professionals, named the City the winner of its Environmental Leadership and Sustainability category of its 2021 Honour Awards on 3 November.

The annual awards aim to acknowledge and celebrate passionate local government officers who demonstrate an outstanding contribution to the local government industry.

City of Cockburn Sustainability Officer, Jennifer Harrison, said the City’s REP had enabled it to achieve its 2020 target of generating more than 20 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources two years earlier than predicted, in 2018.

“In September 2020, Cockburn set a 100 per cent renewable energy target by 2030 as part of its Climate Change Strategy 2020-2030,” Ms Harrison said.

“The City currently produces 26 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy systems installed directly on its buildings. 

“The City has taken a planned and staged approach to its REP over the past two decades, allowing it to demonstrate strong leadership in an area of growing importance, which can be scaled up or down to suit other local governments.”

The REP has enabled the City to establish the largest inventory of renewable energy solar photovoltaic systems of any local government in Western Australia.

“More than 1.5MW of solar infrastructure has been installed across 22 of the City’s community buildings,” Ms Harrison said.

“The solar PV system at Cockburn ARC (Aquatic and Recreation Centre) is one of the state’s largest, producing 48 per cent of its power requirements.”

The City also has an established partnership for methane gas extraction from its Henderson Waste Recovery Park, capturing 70,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide and generating enough electricity to power 3,000-plus homes annually.

The City established a Greenhouse Action Fund in 2011 to finance the REP, with annual allocations of $300,000 until 2020, financing projects worth more than $2 million.

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