Port Stephens Council has installed solar panels on 14 community buildings to continue the drive for sustainable, renewable energy and reach the region’s carbon neutral 2025 goal.

Port Stephens Council Mayor, Ryan Palmer, said the Council is investing in initiatives that protect Port Stephens’ outstanding natural beauty, so that it can be enjoyed by future generations.

“The installation of these solar photovoltaic systems in community buildings throughout Port Stephens is part of our broader commitment to drive sustainability by investing in renewable energy options,” said Mayor Palmer.

“We have installed solar in our Administration Building, Raymond Terrace library, Tomaree library, community centers linked to Rural Fire Service (RFS) stations and Salamander Waste Transfer Station.

“This latest phase includes four sports complexes, all three aquatic centres, Visitor Information Centre, Nelson Bay Depot and Fingal Surf Club.

“We are not immune to the effects of climate change. Rising sea levels, intensity and frequency of hurricanes, in addition to forest fires and rainfall, are challenging the way we manage our environment.

The Council said it recognizes the role it holds as a community leader in environmental sustainability and minimizing the environmental impacts of its facilities.

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

Asset Section Manager, John Maretich said the project was not only positive for the environment but for the Council’s energy costs.

“By installing these solar photovoltaic systems in 14 community buildings, we saved $91,920 on our annual energy costs and reduced the total energy use of these facilities each year by 25 percent, ” said Mr Maretich.

“As we continue to implement actions from our four-year Delivery Program to achieve carbon neutrality, we will continue to work with external funding organizations including the New South Wales Government to seek financial assistance .”

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

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