Parkes Shire

Is a Power Partner
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324 MWh

solar power produced every year

200 kW

of solar on council buildings

Parkes Shire Council strives to be a leader in sustainability by developing initiatives and implementing measures into our operations that aim to reduce our carbon footprint and impact on the environment. We look forward to collaborating with other regional and metropolitan councils as part of the Cities Power Partnership, to share resources and ideas about how we can accelerate emission reduction. We hope to learn from high achieving towns in the areas of renewable energy, efficiency, transport and advocacy, and share our successes from a regional perspective

Parkes Shire Mayor, Councillor Ken Keith OAM

What council has achieved in the past in energy efficiency, renewable energy or broader sustainability

Parkes Shire Council undertakes a number of projects and initiatives that aim to reduce our impact on the environment and improve local parks, gardens and reserves for the community to enjoy.

In 2011, Parkes Shire Council developed a Distributed Energy Plan to mitigate both potential climate change impacts and significant rises in power costs for Council.

In this early phase of the plan Council installed over 200 Kws of PV (Solar) across its assets, immediately making significant impacts on power consumption and energy costs for Council.  There was significant community interest in this project and as a result in 2013 Council coordinated the Parkes Shire Solar Communities program that led to in excess of 300 households installing rooftop solar at highly competitive prices.  This saw the Parkes Shire area at the time becoming one of the highest per capita adopters of roof top solar in the state.

More recently, Council has installed 300 Kws of solar panels at its new Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) site and 100 Kws at the new Water Treatment Plant (WTP) site. Between the two systems it is expected to produce 324 MWh per year in the first year. This number equates to roughly 60 houses usage over the year, based on the average household usage. When the STP’s Advanced Water Recycling Facility expansion is complete it is expected to produce a further 288 MWh per year for the first year.

What council hopes to achieve in the future in energy efficiency, renewable energy or broader sustainability

Parkes Shire Council is now looking at battery storage for these major projects sites and its wider adoption across its assets.  Battery storage technology is an exciting development and is now a cost effective option with regard to enhancing the use of renewable energy.

Council is also working in partnership with the contractor, John Holland, to achieve a sustainability rating for both the water and sewage treatment plant projects through the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA). The ISCA rating scheme offers a voluntary sustainability performance evaluation of the planning, design, construction and operation of all infrastructure asset classes. To date, only two water treatment facilities and one sewage treatment plant have been certified under the scheme. Our projects have been registered to pursue Infrastructure Sustainability As Built and Operation ratings. The projects will be tracked collaboratively throughout construction and commissioning and the costs of pursuing the rating will be shared between Council and the contractor. Accordingly a joint sustainability policy and a joint sustainability management plan have been developed for the combined projects.

Why council joined the Cities Power Partnership 

Parkes Shire Council welcomes any opportunity to take the next steps towards a sustainable future. 

By joining the CPP, Parkes Shire Council hopes to collaborate with other organisations and councils for the primary purpose of building a greener, more efficient and sustainable Australia.

We look forward to learning from leaders in the renewable energy area and share our clean energy successes.

View Mayor Keith in a new light in the Climate Council’s recent video



Media Coverage

Parkes Shire Action Pledge Coming Soon!

In the meantime, check out some pledges that councils can choose from:

Set minimum renewable energy benchmarks for new developments, for example Denman Prospect, ACT requires every new house to install a minimum solar PV system.

Encourage sustainable transport use (public transport, walking and cycling) through Council transport planning and design. Substantial savings in transport energy use can be achieved by designing more compact cities with access to high quality public and active transport services and facilities.

Ensure that the practices of local government contractors and financing such as banking, insurance, and super are aligned with council goals relating to renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transport. Set appropriate criteria for council procurement.

For communities reliant on a local coal industry, local government can support the transition away from fossil fuels, by lobbying for state and federal support for a just transition for workers, families and the community and encouraging local economic development and opportunities based on a low carbon economy.

Provide council resources to educate and support the uptake of renewable energy, such as by hiring an internal renewable energy support officer or establishing an independent body (such as the Moreland and Yarra Energy Foundations).

Support community energy projects (with location and planning support) so that residents (such as renters) can band together and invest in community renewable energy projects.

Consider disincentives for driving high emitting vehicles such as congestion pricing, or a tiered payment system for residential car parking permits where high emitting vehicles pay more.

Power council operations by renewables, directly (with solar PV or wind), or by purchasing Greenpower (from electricity retailers). Set targets to increase the level of renewable power for council operations over time.

Implement an education and behavior change program to influence the behavior of council officers, local residents and businesses within the municipality to drive the shift to renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transport.

Encourage local businesses and residents to take up solar PV, battery storage and solar hot water heating. This can be done through providing incentives (such as solar bulk buy schemes or flexible payment options) or streamlining approvals processes (such as removing planning and heritage barriers to solar PV).

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