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.