THE Echuca library is going solar.
Works to install a 100kW solar system on the roof of the Campaspe Regional Library started on Monday.
Campaspe Shire mayor Adrian Weston said the 368 solar panels would generate enough electricity for the library and when not in use will offset the power of the Campaspe Shire main office.
‘‘The project will result in a reduction of electricity costs as well as a reduction of council’s overall carbon footprint by reducing greenhouse gas emissions,’’ he said.
Following a competitive tender process, Cherry Solar Australia was selected, with local contractor, Solar On Electrical from Torrumbarry, engaged to install the system.
The cost of the project (estimated at $120,000) has been reduced with the contractor securing small-scale technology certificates.
This Federal Government energy scheme provides a significant financial incentive for individuals and businesses to install renewable energy systems.
“It’s great that we will not only be achieving a reduction in our carbon footprint but the financial benefit of installing the system has a calculated payback of less than four years,” Cr Weston said.
“With increasing electricity costs this payback could be even more likely at three years.”
The project will also see an information screen installed in the library for the community to monitor what the system is doing, how much power is being generated, how much is being used, over the day, or over the month.
“I am confident the information screen will be of interest, showing staff and the community the benefits of the solar system,” Cr Weston said.
Bird proofing will also be installed over the solar panels to provide protection.
The orientation and installation of the panels will be placed so visibility from the CBD will be insignificant.
The project was identified through council’s Green Team, a group of staff who meet to consider environmental improvements and projects.
“The Green Team is now looking at further projects which have environmental and financial benefits with a focus on reducing council’s greenhouse gas emissions,” Cr Adrian Weston said.
The solar panel project will be completed and fully operational by the end of March.