City energy goal green & efficient

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Email Jackson Lavell-Lee
City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley and Councillor Ross Paine demonstrate the solar panels atop Council Chambers
Camera IconCity of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley and Councillor Ross Paine demonstrate the solar panels atop Council Chambers Credit: Busselton-Dunsborough Times, Jackson Lavell-Lee

The City of Busselton has adopted an energy strategy to address climate change over the next five years, with wind and algae renewable energy solutions to be investigated.

At their final meeting last year, councillors voted unanimously for a five-point plan and will undertake a range of practical initiatives to optimise energy efficiency, increase uptake of renewable energy, and reduce the City’s carbon emissions.

The plan aims to install about 650 solar panels with battery storage on a range of City buildings, totalling 208kW.

These include 100kW at the Geographe Leisure Centre, 40kW at the Naturaliste Community Centre, 40kW at Busselton Library, and 28kW at the City’s depot.

City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley said some systems had been completed but could be upgraded as battery technology became affordable.

“We’ve pledged around $100,000 per year in procuring and installing PV solar panels,” he said. “We are also talking to providers who would be interested in an installation of a solar farm.

“What we need to make that work is to have a backing meter customer, a high-energy-use public asset that can use that power that is generated. If they can sell it to us cheaper than we are currently buying it for, then they can make money and we can meet our solar imperative.”

Among 52 other key recommendations are setting targets to increase the level of renewable power for City operations, turning waste into energy, and rolling out energy-efficient LED lighting in public.

Cr Ross Paine was excited to finally see the energy strategy adopted after proposing the initiative in 2016.

“It’s really important for the City as it’s one of council’s biggest costs,” he said.

The Busselton Entertainment Arts and Cultural Hub will be the first City facility to be subject to a design policy that incorporates efficient energy principles.

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