Author: Marta Pascual Juanola
The City of Mandurah will be saving $73,000 a year in power bills after a new solar panel system is installed at the Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre (MARC).
At an ordinary council meeting on Tuesday night, City of Mandurah councillors voted in favour of allocating $175,000 towards the $375,000 project, which is part of stage five of the City’s Solar Plan.
It is anticipated that the 200kw solar panel system will result in a reduction of 243 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, and cover 20 per cent of the MARC’s energy demand.
The City of Mandurah will also be able to register the MARC as a renewable energy power station, meaning that, under Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET), the centre would be able to generate tradable certificates for every megawatt hour.
Each certificate would then be sold in an open market for approximately $85, generating an income stream for the City of Mandurah of more than $27,000 a year.
The City of Mandurah’s Solar Plan has already seen the installation of solar panels in nine council-owned buildings including the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, Administration Building, the Merlin Street Pavilion, the Meadow Springs sport facility, the Small Business Centre, the Marina Operations Centre and the Falcon eLibrary among others.
To date, the system has resulted in a combined reduction of 543 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and an estimated cost saving of $183,790.
Solar panels have also been installed by the City in two leased buildings, Rushton Park and the Mandurah Bowling and Recreation Club, resulting in a reduction of 303 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and savings of $117,630.
City of Mandurah officer Karin Wittwer said the Solar Pan was the best option to reduce building operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions to reach the 2020 target of becoming carbon neutral.
“The implementation of this project will also demonstrate the City’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by driving and sustaining action on climate change,” she said.
“It will also help mitigate against probable future increases in the cost of conventional electricity supply.”