Solar + Battery Storage For Taree Tip

Taree Waste Centre solar energy project

New South Wales’ Taree Waste Centre is getting a bunch of solar panels and a battery system, with support from a State Government agency.

During bushfires in November 2019, operations at the Centre were interrupted by a blackout for a considerable period of time.

“Without power, the Centre could not process waste,” said David Rees, Manager of Waste Services at MidCoast Council.

It wasn’t a great situation given the facility deals with waste from across the local government area and operates 10 hours a day, 7 days a week. But thanks to a $200,000 helping hand from the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), the Centre will soon have 75kW of solar panels and a 60kW battery system1 that will help it power through grid disruptions in the future.

The funding is being provided under the EPA’s bushfire recovery programs, one of which supports projects repairing or enhancing Council landfill facilities while delivering multiple benefits and positive outcomes for a community. In total, $22.1 million in funding was awarded to 15 councils for 26 Landfill Infrastructure Projects that restore or improve council landfills.

“Once the panels are switched on, MidCoast Council’s carbon footprint will decrease and so will costs for the community, while their ability to respond during natural disasters will increase. A fantastic project all round!,” said NSW EPA’s Liesbet Spanjaard.

The project – which will see solar panels installed on both the transfer station and Community Recycling Centre rooftops – is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

Waste And MidCoast Council’s Climate Change Strategy

The Taree Waste Centre installation also aligns with Council’s Climate Change Strategy and its commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy and net zero emissions by 2040.

The organisation has already installed solar power systems on other assets; among them a 160-panel installation at Tuncurry Recycled Water Treatment Plant and a 160kW system on its customer service centre at Yalawanyi Ganya in Taree.

Inclusive of energy and waste, MidCoast Council’s greenhouse gas emissions were estimated to be 101,540 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (t CO2-e) in 2018-19, which was the base year selected for the development of its Strategy. More than 71% of these emissions were associated with waste.

Council is aiming for net zero emissions from landfill by 2050 and to achieve a 75% diversion rate of waste from landfill to recycling. These ambitions have had some setbacks in recent years, with an increase in waste going to landfill as a result of the bushfires and then clean-ups after flood events of March 2021 and again this year.

Between floods and fires, it’s little wonder MidCoast Council is taking the issue of climate change very seriously. But it was doing so even before these events; making a climate emergency declaration back in October 2019.

“… we are calling on the NSW and Federal Governments to work in a bipartisan manner to make clear, effective and unambiguous steps to avert a climate crisis in NSW and Australia,” said the Mayor at that point in time.

Unfortunately, that crisis is already well and truly under way – but onwards.


  1. Whether Council meant 60kWh isn’t clear.
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.

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