“The Cities Power Partnership enables us to learn from other councils across Australia working on similar climate change mitigation projects. It also gives us the opportunity to tap into the knowledge of the Climate Council. We are excited to join the program and look forward to both learning from others and sharing our experiences in climate change mitigation and adaptation.”
Mayor Councillor Bryan Payne
Carbon Neutral by 2021
The Mornington Peninsula Shire is committed to achieving carbon neutrality for Council operations by 2021. A number of projects to minimise GHG emissions are underway and planned for the future. These include the installation of solar panels on Shire buildings and bulk upgrade of street lights to LED. These are critical to the pathway to reach carbon neutrality. By the end of August 2018, the Shire will replace 10,724 standard mercury vapour lights with LEDs. This will save 72,996 tonnes of greenhouse gases over the life of the assets (20 years). Energy efficiency building upgrades and carbon offsetting are also key actions to achieving carbon neutrality, and will be implemented in coming years.
The Shire has a long-standing history of supporting the uptake of renewable energy generation. This is continued with the current Rooftop Solar PV Rollout on Shire owned or operated buildings, which will see some 707.3kW installed. This will reduce the Shire’s carbon footprint by 1,062 t CO2e per annum. The Shire has also assisted community groups to install more than 100 kW of solar, including Sorrento Community Centre, which recently unveiled its new solar and battery system, installed as part of the Community Grid Project, that will lower power bills, showcase energy solutions and support the grid during peak demand.
The Shire also facilitates Environmental Upgrade Agreements between the Shire, the Sustainable Melbourne Fund and businesses to improve water, energy or waste efficiency or increase renewable energy. The most recent EUA with local salad growers Hussey and Co. will finance a 505kW solar system at their Somerville facility, expected to save 754 t CO2e—equivalent to taking 161 cars off the road each year. Nine EUAs are now in place and comprise 839.5 kW solar and energy efficiency measures installed across the Shire.
In summary, to date, the Shire has installed 61.3 kW on Shire buildings and enabled the installation of 1566.5 kW through supporting EUA’s, assisting community solar projects and facilitating community solar bulk buy schemes. In the next 12 to 18 months, an additional 27 Shire buildings will have a total of 646kW of solar power installed.
Working with our community
Community engagement is critical to the Shire’s approach to climate change mitigation and adaption. Since 2010, the Shire has engaged with around 16,000 visitors at the Eco Living Display Centre at the Briars in Mount Martha. The Centre is a hub for learning about sustainable living and offers school excursions, monthly workshops, energy efficiency advice and provides a base for a range of community groups. The Shire has also run several Sustainability Festivals, delivered a Climate Ready program and hosted guest speakers including the Climate Council to raise awareness of climate change and to assist the community to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience.
To plan for future community engagement, the Shire will be asking their community to have their say on the Draft Climate Change Community Engagement Strategy, from June – August 2018. The Strategy will set out the actions to assist the community to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the future.