Parkes Harnesses Solar Energy To Slash Electricity Costs

Solar Power In Parkes | Image : Public Domain

Two 100kW solar power systems have been installed for Parkes Shire Council in New South Wales, which combined will generate 612 megawatt hours of clean electricity a year.

The solar panel arrays were installed at the new Parkes Water and Sewage Treatment Plants and will offset the energy consumption of both facilities.

The project is part of Council’s Distributed Energy Plan, designed to tackle the potential impacts of climate change and increasing energy costs. Council is now investigating more solar power opportunities at  its other water infrastructure sites, plus battery storage and virtual net metering.

Aside from Council’s direct efforts, there’s been a whole lot of solar going on in the Parkes region for years.

More than 1,000 small scale solar power systems are installed in the 2870 postcode, with a collective capacity of just north of 5 megawatts.  Around 300 of those systems were the result of  the Parkes Shire Solar Communities program, which Council coordinated. The effort saw the  area becoming one of the highest per capita adopters of rooftop solar power in New South Wales.

Also in the pipeline for the region is the Parkes Solar Farm, a 66MW project featuring 206,000 solar panels that will be constructed at a site 10km west of the town, assuming it receives the necessary approvals. The solar farm will generate around 138,000 megawatt hours annually and produce enough electricity to power approximately 21,000 homes.

Local Governments Leading The Way

The commissioning of Parkes Shire Council’s systems add to a rapidly growing list of council projects across Australia reaping the benefits of harvesting the power of the sun. Other local government efforts we’ve mentioned in the past few months include:

35 councils, representing more than 12 per cent of Australia’s population, are participating in the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership that encourages a switch to renewable energy and sustainable transport.

“The Cities Power Partnership is about accelerating, celebrating and promoting local council’s achieving emissions reductions and transitioning towards renewable energy technologies like wind and solar, all on home soil,” said Climate Council CEO, Amanda McKenzie last month.

According to the Council, twenty per cent of councils surveyed across Australia are aiming for 100% renewable energy or zero emissions.

The ‘Local Leadership: Tracking Local Government Progress on Climate Change” can be downloaded here (PDF).

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Speak Your Mind

Please keep the SolarQuotes blog constructive and useful with these 5 rules:

1. Real names are preferred - you should be happy to put your name to your comments.
2. Put down your weapons.
3. Assume positive intention.
4. If you are in the solar industry - try to get to the truth, not the sale.
5. Please stay on topic.

Please solve: 26 + 4 

Get The SolarQuotes Weekly Newsletter