WITH renewable energy a focus across the country, a new solar PV plant has been opened in Leeton.
The 99 kilowat solar plant at the Leeton Waste Water Treatment Plant on Fivebough Road was officially launched last week.
Last year Leeton Shire Council approved the transfer of $175,000 from its sewer restrictions fund to allow for the construction of the new solar system.
Council’s manager of water and waste water Greg Richards said it would generate renewable energy to help run essential waste water operations in an environmentally and financially sustainable manner.
“Last year council contracted Photon Energy to install the solar PV system at the sewerage treatment plant,” he said.
“This system will produce annual energy of 166,599kWh, have an annual return on investment of 9.1 per cent, an annual carbon offset of 145 tonnes of carbon dioxide and reduce electricity costs by 50 per cent.”
The new solar system has been operating for just over three months and according to council is “functioning extremely efficiently”.
Mayor Paul Maytom commended Photon and council staff for a job well done.
The net savings over 25 years will be $347,000.
With renewable energy one of his own personal passions, councillor Maytom was full of praise for the innovation.
“Council is very supportive of renewable energy initiatives happening in our shire,” he said.
“Council will continue to investigate other opportunities for renewable energy across the shire as this is makes good business sense operationally and is environmentally responsible.”
Photon Energy is currently proposing to build and commission their own 25MWp solar power plant in Leeton, also on Fivebough Road.
A development application is currently under assessment by council and a decision will be made by the joint regional planning panel in the coming months.
The estimated cost of the proposed project is about $24 million according to the development application.
Photon Energy is a global solar power solutions and services company. The site of the proposed development is not located in close proximity to urban or dense residential areas and is located opposite the sewerage plant.