Members of the community and mayor Jan Barham celebrate the launch of the new solar system at the Brunswick Valley Community Centre yesterday.
Members of the community and mayor Jan Barham celebrate the launch of the new solar system at the Brunswick Valley Community Centre yesterday.

Brunswick Valley centre goes solar

BYRON Shire Council has installed a 5kW solar PV system at the Brunswick Valley Community Centre located on South Beach Road, Brunswick Heads.

Mayor Jan Barham ‘switched on’ the new solar system yesterday.

She said at cost of $23,000 the new 5kW solar system would provide for up to 25 per cent of the centre's current energy use.

The new solar system will generate about 7700 kilowatt hours of clean renewable energy and eliminate 7.25 tonnes of greenhouse gas annually.

“This equates to removing 10 cars from the road permanently or planting 430 trees every year,” Cr Barham said.

The project was funded via Council's Revolving Energy Fund.

This funding model allows the savings generated by energy-reducing technologies such as solar power, solar hot water systems, insulation and efficient lighting to be re-invested in other energy-saving projects across the Shire.

“The aim is for the accumulative effect of the energy savings to fund numerous projects throughout the Shire.

“What we save in one project will be used to fund the next energy saving project,” Cr Barham said.

She said the next project being considered for solar power was the Myocum Landfill site.

The Brunswick Valley Community Centre is the first council building to go solar and was ‘switched on’ as part of Council’s Sustainable House Weekend.

Cr Barham also congratulated the Brunswick Heads Chamber of Commerce on their $20,500 funding success under the NSW Department of Industry and Investment Enterprising Regions Program towards the Brunswick Community Economic Transition Strategy 2011 – 2016.

The new economic transition strategy will review the town's vision and develop a five-year plan for its future and identify a broad range of challenges including climate change, peak oil and other forms of resource depletion.

The installation of the new solar panels formed part of the chamber’s successful grant application.



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