Construction of a solar energy facility at Glenmore Water Treatment Plant is set to start in the next few months after Rockhampton Regional Council awarded the construction contract to Australia’s leading solar energy provider, Solgen Energy, early last week.
Mayor Tony Williams said he couldn’t wait to see the $2.6 million project get started.
“Here at Rockhampton Regional Council, we are serious about building a sustainable future and this is a great stride in that direction,” Mayor Williams said.
“Back in the 2018 budget we created the Sustainable Rockhampton Investment Fund to support initiatives that will deliver a cleaner, greener future for the region, and building this solar facility was something we really wanted to try and make happen.
“I’m delighted that we are going to see that vision become a reality before the end of the year. I also want to take the opportunity to commend and thank Councillor Neil Fisher for all of his hard work on this project – he really drove this in the early stages and helped to get it off the ground.
“The 1.3MW solar energy facility will be built near Fitzroy River Water’s headquarters in Parkhurst, and once completed will reduce the water treatment plant’s reliance on grid supplied electricity.
“Solgen are Australia’s largest commercial solar energy provider and have the expertise and skills to build an outstanding facility. They are a national company but will be using Queensland based contractors as well as a local civil contractor to complete this work.”
Councillor Donna Kirkland said doing the right thing for the environment is the right thing for ratepayers too.
“It’s worth remembering that the Sustainable Rockhampton Investment Fund has a dual purpose: be good for the environment and good value for ratepayers,” Cr Kirkland said.
“Once constructed, we will be able to save between 30 and 50 per cent of the $1 million per year electricity bill we have for the Glenmore Water Treatment Plant, which will be a significant saving. It’s also being built in a way to allow expansion in the future.”
“Supporting a better environment is about being innovative and we have officers in our organisation brimming with great ideas.”
Dr Jason Plumb, manager of Fitzroy River Water, said that as well as being great value for money, the tender submission from Solgen Energy included innovative design features.
“There will be single-axis tracking and the use of bifacial (double-sided) solar panels to increase the power generation capacity, as well as using crushed recycled glass from council as a ground treatment to increase solar reflection and power generation using the double-sided panels.”