Council’s Powerful Move Towards Zero Carbon Emissions

Hawkesbury City Council is committed to working with local government and other levels of government to become a net zero emissions organisation as soon as possible, the Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Barry Calvert has announced.

Net Zero EmissionsOver the past two years, Council has expanded its Solar Program as well as accelerated its LED Street Lighting program, so as to actively implement emissions reduction strategies and cost savings.

“In a positive step towards 100 per cent renewable power, Hawkesbury City Council has now entered into a new electricity supply agreement that will deliver additional cost savings to Council and improve the bottom line for the environment,” Mayor Calvert said.

The new electricity supply agreement will provide lower cost renewable power for its large facilities – including the Deerubbin Centre, McGraths Hill Wastewater Treatment Plant, Oasis Fitness and Aquatic Centre in South Windsor, Council’s Administration Building and South Windsor Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“Rising electricity costs are affecting communities across Australia and businesses, community and government organisations are all impacted, including local councils,” the Mayor said.

“This 10 year Power Purchase Agreement means we are tapping into the wholesale energy market while also standing by our commitment to renewable energy.”

The agreement will save Council $2.5 million over the next 10 years, money that Council will be able to direct towards other initiatives to benefit the community. It will also reduce the CO2 equivalent emissions of Council’s operations by approximately 67,000 tonnes over the next decade.

“This amounts to a 100 per cent reduction in Council’s total carbon emissions for its large facilities and street lighting combined,” the Mayor added.

“This is on the back of our successful Hawkesbury City Solar Program which is nearing completion at several Council facilities.

“We have already installed solar panels at nine of Council’s facilities, with 12 facilities to have solar panels at the end of the program. We’re looking forward to having a community celebration in 2020 when the Hawkesbury City Solar Program is completed,” he said.

“As a result of the combined initiatives of solar energy, LED street lighting – including the Light Years Ahead initiative, and our new electricity supply agreement, we will reduce our carbon emissions from 18,900 tonnes in 2014 to 10,100 tonnes in 2020, which is a 47% per cent reduction.

“We are already powered by 90 per cent renewable energy, and we aim to be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy in the very near future,” Mayor Calvert said.

“We’ve always known that renewable energy is the power of the future and now the future is here.”

Council also has plans to investigate further initiatives in relation to:

  • Increasing canopy cover, utilising enhanced water cycle management opportunities and using more appropriate construction materials to reduce urban heat island effects and the associated medical costs to the wider community
  • Reducing the overall use of water whilst increasing the use of recycled water
  • Better managing the collection of waste to reduce landfill and increase recycling
  • Working in association with the Sydney Resilience Plan and local residents to create a more connected, capable and resilient community with greater capacity to work together to respond to the threats and effects of flood, fire and extreme heat.

Hawkesbury City Solar Program

Council’s Hawkesbury City Solar Program has been installing an additional 750kW of solar

Capability over the past 12 months, which has led to Council being selected as a finalist in the recent Cities Power Partnerships - National Climate Awards.

The Solar Program will generate electricity for 12 Council sites and provide excellent cost savings to Council. 750kW of solar energy represents 2269 individual panels which, placed end to end, would stretch for four kilometres. This use of solar is equivalent to removing 135 cars from our roads for one year with the total greenhouse savings of 635 tonnes of emissions per year.

Council is rolling out the Solar Program in conjunction with Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils. The Solar Program highlights the crucial role local government can play in driving initiatives. This is an important step towards a more sustainable future.

Council’s Hawkesbury Solar Program is a continuation of the successful Light Years Ahead Program which was implemented in 2014-2016.

Light Years Ahead

Light Years Ahead is an energy efficiency and renewable initiative coordinated through the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, which includes LED lighting, solar installations, building upgrades and advocacy initiatives to achieve better energy outcomes for Western Sydney councils and their communities. For more information visit www.lightyearsahead.com.au

Accelerated LED Upgrade

LED lights are more efficient and less expensive to maintain and they have a longer life than mercury vapour lights. Council has completed its Accelerated LED Upgrade of 471 streetlights, replacing mercury vapour street lights with LED lights in the residential streets of Bligh Park, Bowen Mountain, Freemans Reach, Glossodia, Grose Vale, Grose Wold, Hobartville, Kurmond, Kurrajong, Kurrajong Heights, Maraylya, North Richmond, Pitt Town, Richmond, Tennyson, Wilberforce, Windsor, Windsor Downs.

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