Tweed Shire Council’s sustainability officer Dan Walton with some typical solar electricity panels.
Tweed Shire Council’s sustainability officer Dan Walton with some typical solar electricity panels.

Go solar to help local facilities

TWEED ratepayers are being encouraged to put solar electric panels on their roofs under a scheme which Tweed Shire Council hopes will win it free solar panels for the rooftops of some facilities.

The plan is to put the free panels on structures such as bus stops to power overhead security lighting.

Councillors earlier this week endorsed the scheme, which will see it promote a selected solar power business through its website and free newsletter, the Tweed Link, to “paying customers within the shire”.

“In return for local promotion, the successful tenderer will be required to provide TSC with free solar PV (photovoltaic) systems for installations on facilities,” councillors were told by staff. The scheme is intended to run for 12 months or 200 installations, whichever comes first.

According to the council the “solar neighbourhood program” will also give residents the opportunity to purchase a quality solar power system for a reduced price to help them reduce rising electricity costs and their “carbon footprint”.

Tweed Mayor Warren Polglase said the alliance would be the first in regional NSW and followed the success of a similar program on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

The council’s sustainability officer Dan Walton, who has installed solar panels on his own home, said take-up rates for green technologies increased significantly when councils made it easier to take part.

Solar savings:

Householders participating in the program will:

Generate up to $1642 worth of electricity a year (based on a feed-in tariff of $0.60c per kilowatt and a nine panel, 1.5kW solar photovoltaic system)

Recoup their financial outlay in less than three years

Take advantage of government incentives

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2.4 tonnes of CO2 per year



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