Public sessions on renewable energy


Locals wishing to get involved in Council’s plans to utilise renewable energy are invited to attend public presentations to be held next week.

Council recently adopted a Renewable Energy Action Plan with an aim to increase the use and availability of sustainable energy, reduce and measure its environmental footprint, and reduce fuel consumption.

The plan will also see Council look to construct a medium scale solar array to increase renewable energy in the city, and commit to a long term goal of the city being 100% powered by renewable energy by 2030.

Council’s Manager Sustainability, Waste and Works, Kathy Graham, said the plan provided exciting options for the city’s future.

“The plan sets some good targets around renewable energy usage and reducing our carbon footprint, but it’s the possibility of a medium-scale solar array that I think people will be most interested in,” she said.

“Companies are moving ahead with plans to create large energy storage facilities around Broken Hill, and if we had our own means of producing renewable energy we could leverage off these projects.

“The goal is to take Council’s entire operation off the grid, and potentially look at supplying cheap energy to local businesses and households to offer some financial relief from utility costs.”

Council has set aside $50,000 in the draft 2020-21 budget to establish the array’s potential size and prepare a shortlist of viable locations.

Further funding could be set aside in future for detailed concept modelling and a fully detailed project plan, subject to the availability of a suitable site for a solar array.

“Obviously we’re extremely early in the initial planning stages for this project, but it has the potential to make Broken Hill a national leader in the utilisation of renewable energy,” said Ms Graham.

“There is significant movement in the renewable energy sector around Broken Hill, so it makes perfect sense for us to investigate ways in which Broken Hill and its residents could benefit.

“These sessions will be a great chance to discuss these opportunities, and also listen to community input on how Broken Hill can best take advantage of renewable energy into the future.”

The renewable energy information sessions will be held at the Civic Centre on May 21 at 10:00am and 6:00pm.

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