Solar to smash library power bill

New solar panels on the Glen Innes Library and Learning Centre, funded by a library grant, are projected to save Glen Innes Severn Council $30,000 a year in power costs.

Library staff worked with colleagues from council’s Integrated Water and Sustainability Services department to achieve the 70 per cent electricity savings, thanks to a 40 kilowatt solar system consisting of 156 solar panels installed by Sunup Solar Solutions Pty Ltd last month.

Library and Learning Centre manager Kerry Byrne said a Library Council of NSW grant was used to purchase and install the solar panels. The total cost of the project was $51,000, resulting in a payback period of less than two years.

The library project will deliver a substantial reduction in electricity costs and carbon dioxide emissions, according to Integrated Water and Sustainability Services environmental officer Ian Trow. He said both reductions are in line with council’s Operational Plan and Community Strategic Plan, developed from extensive community consultation in 2011 with further community consultation again in 2013. 

“One of council’s environmental strategic objectives is to implement recycling and energy efficiency strategies that are cost effective, and reduce council’s environmental impact,” Mr Trow said.

The solar installation is expected to reduce the facility’s carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 50 tonnes a year, which is equivalent to that produced by 20 cars or eight average households.

Glen Innes Severn Council’s director of corporate and community services Anna Watt, Library and Learning Centre manager Kerry Byrne, mayor Colin Price, environmental officer Ian Trow and general manager Hein Basson at the site of the newly-installed library solar system.

Glen Innes Severn Council’s director of corporate and community services Anna Watt, Library and Learning Centre manager Kerry Byrne, mayor Colin Price, environmental officer Ian Trow and general manager Hein Basson at the site of the newly-installed library solar system.

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