As part of its commitment to move Towards Net Zero Bundaberg Regional Council has allocated funds in its 2023/24 budget for solar installations.
Council facilities to be included in the solar installation project include the Hinkler Hall of Aviation and the Bundaberg administration centre.
Located within the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens, the Hinkler Hall of Aviation is a popular tourism facility which celebrates the life and achievements of famous pioneer aviator Bert Hinkler.
Preliminary estimates for the project anticipate a 75 kW capacity system will be needed for the hall which is estimated to save $18,500 in energy costs in the first year alone.
The Bundaberg administration centre, located on Bourbong Street, is estimated to require a 40 kW solar capacity with an estimated first-year energy saving of $8700.
Mayor Jack Dempsey said the solar installations were a positive move for both the environment and Council’s bottom line.
“All up we expect the Hinkler Hall of Aviation and Bundaberg administration centre solar systems will account for over $27,000 in savings in the first year alone,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“Following changes last year to Federal and State Government legislation it’s important that Bundaberg Regional Council act as a leader for our region as the country and the world makes a push to net zero.
“While this is a long-term goal for our community, having a plan to achieve net zero is essential with the cost to communities who fail to act becoming clearer all the time.”
The buildings aren’t the first Council assets to be part of a solar installation initiative with facilities including the Multiplex and Rubyanna Wastewater Treatment Plant already harnessing the power of the sun.
They were identified as priority projects following a detailed solar feasibility assessment of 25 Council sites.
Mayor Dempsey said this work had formed the basis on which the two facilities were selected this financial year and will also inform future solar investment.
“While no other solar installations have been budgeted for at this stage, Council is committed to investigating more opportunities in future,” he said.
“The next Council facility we will investigate is the expansion of the popular Multiplex venue’s solar installation.
“It already has a 100 kW system in place but we anticipate we could save an additional $5000 in energy costs annually if we upgrade that system.
“It will be among the future projects we look to support.”
Find out more about Council’s Towards Net Zero strategy on the website.