Shire moving to solar savings

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Powering up: Eric Zuiker, Mornington Peninsula Shire’s climate change project delivery officer Vanessa Graley, Lachie Fereaz, Cr Rosie Clark, Sam Leighton, Damian Richardson and Max Delongville where solar panels are being installed on The Corner Youth Centre and Peninsula Community Theatre buildings in Mornington. Picture: Supplied

SOLAR panels have been installed at 19 buildings operated by Mornington Peninsula Shire, with a further 27 to go. By 2020, there will be 2440 solar panels on shire buildings.

Dubbed “the rooftop solar PV rollout”, the next two months will see solar panels installed at the shire’s Rosebud offices (99.73 kW), Hastings library (50.4 kW) and Civic Reserve Recreation Centre, Mornington (99.73 kW).

When completed, the program’s panels will generate 707 kW, estimated to annually shave $132,000 of the shire’s power bills and reducing its carbon footprint by three per cent.

The mayor Cr Bryan Payne said the use of solar panels “aligns to the Our Place strategic theme of the 2017-2021 council plan” and the shire’s commitment to “demonstrate leadership in climate change mitigation and adaptation”.

“We’ve made a commitment to strive for carbon neutral council operations by 2021, we’re demonstrating leadership through a series of innovative renewable energy, waste recovery and recycling activities, and by assisting local businesses to make environmental upgrades that will reduce the carbon footprint of the entire region,” Cr Payne said.

Council has also helped community groups to install more than 50 kW of solar, including Mt Eliza Cricket Club and Sorrento Community Centre.

The latest Environmental Upgrade Agreement between the shire, the Sustainable Melbourne Fund and local salad growers Hussey and Co, financed a 505 kW solar system at the company’s Somerville farm, with savings expected to expected to be the equivalent of taking 161 cars off the road each year.

There are nine such agreements in place across the shire.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 10 July 2018

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