Please note: this is an archived news article release.
This article was published on 21 May 2012. The information contained within may be out of date or inaccurate. News articles and media releases older than 60 days are archived for future reference.
Energy saving projects help Council avoid carbon tax hit
Swimmers and gym junkies at Aquamoves in Shepparton will soon be able to bathe in the glow of helping the environment and helping to keep energy costs down across the municipality.
The proposed utility upgrade at Aquamoves, including a gas turbine to generate electricity, will save a staggering 800 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum as well as shaving up to $70,000 off the recreation centre’s yearly power bill. The turbine will produce electricity for the complex. The water used to cool the turbines will in turn be used to heat the pool.
“This is the single biggest thing Greater Shepparton City Council could do to reduce its carbon footprint,” said CEO Greater Shepparton City Council Gavin Cator. “While the overall outlay is $555,000 ($355,000 in the first year), it will pay for itself in six years.”
“However this is just one of a suite of projects we’ve undertaken or are planning to reduce our energy use and carbon emissions. As well as being great for the environment, these projects have a real bottom line benefits for the residents of the City of Greater Shepparton.”
Carbon mitigation projects such as landfill gas recovery at the Cosgrove Landfill site will mean that Council is also not currently liable to pay the amount of carbon tax paid by municipalities with similar size landfills without mitigation.
“With the gas we collect from the Cosgrove landfill we run an engine to generate electricity that puts enough power back into the grid to supply around 800 households,” said Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Michael Polan. “We are also directing organic material away from landfill, where it would produce a lot of greenhouse gas. Instead it’s processed in a purpose built low emission composting plant that provides 6000 tonnes of excellent quality compost per year.”
The need to reduce carbon emissions is something that Council has been proactive about, Cr Polan said, and that forward planning has paid off.
“Gas collection and measuring systems were installed five or six years ago at Cosgrove, and the landfill gas, primarily methane, was initially flared off to become CO2, which, while still a greenhouse gas, is over 20 times less potent than methane.”
Two years ago, infrastructure was installed in partnership with LMS Energy to allow this gas to be recovered and burned for electricity generation. Council receives a small royalty for the electricity it provides.
“With a bit of creative nous, support from the community, and the right funding models, we’ve been able to come up with projects that show that caring for the environment can be an economical choice too,” Cr Polan said.