Sun rises on solar solutions to transform energy use

Published on 19 May 2021

Benefits are set to shine on Singleton Council with an investment in solar panels at 12 sites expected to be paid off in seven years and total energy savings calculated at $126,652 per year.

Council awarded the tender for the supply and installation of solar panels, inverters and LED lighting at this week’s meeting, with the project expected to be complete at the end of the year.

The cost of the project amounts to $$977,425.10 (ex GST).

The project also revealed solar energy will deliver Council’s biggest user of energy, the Gym & Swim at 220.40kW per year, a $43,381 annual saving in energy bills, while the second biggest user, the sewer treatment plant – which uses 210.6kW per year – would save $40,211. The list of 12 sites also includes:

•    Booster Pump at Whittingham (10.10kW)

•    Administration Building and Auditorium (99.50kW)

•    Colleen Gale Children’s Centre (10.10kW)

•    Library (35.10kW)

•    Visitor Information Centre (35.10kW)

•    Waste Management Facility (10.10kW)

•    Youth Venue (7kW)

•    Waste Depot (6.63kW)

•    Water Treatment Plant (35.10kW)

•    OOSH (10.10kW)

The total annual saving across all 12 sites has been calculated at $126,652.

Council will now work with the successful contractor to order the panels and inverters and schedule installation across all 12 sites by the end of 2021.

“It’s about realising the opportunity to reduce our electricity expenditure to divert those savings back into the community, and at the same time to role model good environmental sustainability with the solar panels and inverters,” Mark Ihlein, Council’s Executive Manager Projects said.

“We know our community takes sustainability seriously as we’ve seen through the development and adoption of the Singleton Sustainability Strategy 2019-2027.

“The installation of solar and LED lighting is another action we can add to what we’re doing on behalf of and for our community, now and into the future.

“Best of all, it’s an investment that pays dividends in so many other ways, beyond economics and the environment. Our littlest residents at Colleen Gale and OOSH will be part of the social shift in sustainability from an early age, it’s a symbol for our staff to continually look for innovative solutions to minimise our footprint in the way we do things, and hopefully, encouragement for everyone in our community to look at ways we can all play a role in the sustainability of our local government area.”

To learn more about the Singleton Sustainability Strategy 2019-2027 and other actions Council is taking, visit the Sustainability Hub on Council’s website at