As part of the City of Palmerston’s sustainability measures, Council endorsed the installation of solar panels on the City of Palmerston Library at its ordinary meeting on Tuesday night.

Official Manager Mark Blackburn said that implementing this renewable energy initiative will have both financial and environmental benefits for the Palmerston community.

“Rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems are a proven technology for reducing costs and improving environmental outcomes.

A review of major Council assets was undertaken to determine suitability of a PV system. Taking into consideration power consumption, condition of the asset, and installation considerations, the City of Palmerston Library was identified as the preferred first PV project for Council,” he said.

Consideration will be given to the installation of more systems and energy efficiency measures as part of future budgets.

Estimated installation cost of the panels is $200,000 with a payback period of less than 5 years.

It is estimated that the system will offset an average of 50,000kg of carbon dioxide annually over the life of the asset.

“We see this as an opportunity to create savings for our ratepayers and help reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Solar energy is a clean and sustainable source of power, which is good for the environment and will reduce Council’s carbon footprint,” said Mr. Blackburn

The project will be funded from Council’s Strategic Initiatives Reserve, with installation works expected to commence in June this year following a competitive tender process.

The Strategic Initiatives report adopted by Council also included; the development of a Smart Cities Strategy to inform future implementation options and deliver outcomes of Council’s Digital Strategy and a strategy for street and public lighting transition to smart LED lighting.

“Based on available data and experiences it is estimated that a conversion of all Council public lights to smart LED’s could achieve an annual saving in energy costs of 50% representing $415,000 to the Palmerston community,” Mr. Blackburn said.