Solar expansion in shire

By Benalla Ensign

Benalla’s bordering local council authority, Strathbogie Shire, is taking major steps on its journey to zero-net emissions.

The council, which is targeting zero net emissions by 2025, is installing 43kW solar systems on four key buildings across the municipality this month.

In addition to solar, council will be undertaking key energy efficiency works including de-lamping and LED installations to its facilities.

Strathbogie Shire Mayor Amanda McClaren said this was the first step in a major rollout of corporate greenhouse efficiencies across council-run buildings.

The plan, which was partly funded by Sustainability Victoria’s Local Government Energy Saver initiative, will include energy measures undertaken in community recreation reserves, libraries and halls.

‘‘These installations will see us cutting more than $36000 per annum in utilities, and avoiding emitting 146 tonnes of CO2-e each year, which is substantial,’’ Cr McClaren said.

‘‘Council intends to continue this good work, and continue to follow up on a number of energy audits it undertook last year.

‘‘This is just one element of council’s long-term low-carbon strategy.

‘‘We are looking to secure the future of our shire, particularly with the development of the Sustainable Strathbogie 2030 Strategy, which sets out a blueprint for a resilient, well-adapted, low-carbon future.’’

BD North East Electrics owner Marcus Mackrell, who was selected as the installer, said he was pleased council was hiring a local business for the installation.

‘‘It really makes a difference when people see leadership from their council, and they’ve been great to work with,’’ Mr Mackrell said.

‘‘There’s been a lot of solar going up in the shire lately. The government rebates and the Bogie Bulk Buy have really made a difference to solar business locally.’’