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FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Orange should set renewable energy target, says councillor.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Orange should set renewable energy target, says councillor.

In Sydney on Thursday, Lord Mayor Clover Moore unveiled the first industrial-scale Tesla Powerpack battery to be installed and operational in the Sydney metropolitan area. With the ability store up to 500 kilowatt hours of electricity, the battery storage is another step towards the city’s target of having 50 per cent of all electricity in the City of Sydney area come from renewables by 2030, a goal that our own city should also aspire to according to Councillor Stephen Nugent.

“I'd love to see Council set a target for itself, for its own energy consumption, to perhaps be 50 per cent renewable by 2030 or something like that,” said Cr Nugent, Greens Party member and Chairman of the Environmental Sustainability Committee.

“Now I'm just plucking figures out of the air, but setting targets of that nature I think, gives you something to aim for, gives you the impetus to initiate other projects from a renewable energy point of view.”

Council has made progress in this area, said Cr Nugent, but he would like to see more large, local solar installations and even battery storage considered in the near future.

“I'd like to see a further uptake of solar panels… We have got solar farms being built at Molong and Manildra; I think it would be great to have one built within the boundary of Orange City Council,” he said.

“I'd love to see Orange, in terms of some of our facilities, look at battery storage. I think that is the next big thing in terms of solar power and addressing that issue of not being able to meet base-load power requirement. We are seeing some major developments in terms of battery storage in South Australia and other locations, so I think that is probably the next development in terms of solar power and renewable energy for Orange that we could pursue.”

Cr Nugent said he would explore the idea of a renewable energy target with the Environmental Sustainability Community Committee, but it might be something that takes a while to develop.

“I think the next meeting of that committee, which will be in September, would be a good time to ask for a report on renewable energy targets for Orange and what might be achievable,” he said. “Asking the question about what our current consumption of renewable energy is as a percentage of total consumption and what might be a reasonable target to set for the next five years, ten years.”

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