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Solar panels support a sustainable future

Port Stephens Council will install solar panels on 14 community building as part of an ongoing commitment to achieve a carbon neutral Council by 2025.

Mayor Ryan Palmer says Council is investing in initiatives that protect the incredible natural beauty of Port Stephens so that is can be enjoyed by future generations.

“The installation of these solar photovoltaic systems on community building across Port Stephens is part of our broader commitment to driving sustainability through investment in renewable energy options.

“We’ve already installed solar at our Administration Building, Raymond Terrace library, Tomaree library, community centres linked to Rural Fire Service (RFS) stations and Salamander Waste Transfer Station. This latest round includes four sports complexes, all three aquatic centre, the Visitor Information Centre, the Nelson Bay Depot and Fingal Surf Club.

“We aren’t immune to the impacts of climate change. Increased sea level rise, intensity and frequency of storms, plus bushfire and rainfall patterns, are challenging the way we manage our environment,” Mayor Palmer said.

We recognise the role we have as a community leader in environmental sustainability and minimising the environmental impacts of our facilities – with these small changes, we hope to start making a big difference.

The Port Stephens draft Community Strategic Plan 2022 – 2032 presented at the Council meeting on 28 June, ensuring the Port Stephens community vision for the next decade is for an environment that is clean, green, protected and enhanced.

Asset Section Manager John Maretich said the project isn’t only positive for the environment but for Councils energy costs.

“By installing these solar photovoltaic systems on 14 community buildings, we’re saving $91,920 on our yearly energy costs and reducing the total energy usage on these facilities annually by 25%,” Mr Maretich said.

“As we continue to implement actions from our 4 year Delivery Program to achieve carbon neutrality, we’ll continue to work with external funding bodies including the NSW Government to seek financial assistance,” he added.

All solar panels are expected to be installed by mid August.

Read more about our sustainability and climate change actions at pscouncil.info/Sustainability