Byron Shire renewable energy resource study
Council has undertaken a preliminary identification and economic assessment of renewable energy resources across the Byron Shire, including detailed wind mapping of the Shire. The Study provided valuable information about the viability of local wind and solar resources that may facilitate investment in renewable energy across the Shire. The Study indicated that Byron Shire's wind resource is highly variable and constrained for reasons such as tree cover and scenic protection. This suggests that the wide-scale deployment of wind turbines is unlikely to occur, although small pockets of land may support smaller wind turbines, whether privately-owned or through a community share program. However, the study identified solar power as having a strong financial basis and an obvious choice for deployment due to it's widespread and evenly distributed nature.
Byron Shire wind mapping
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Solar installations across Byron Shire
Brunswick Valley Community Centre
Council has installed a 5kW solar PV system on the Brunswick Valley Community Centre located on South Beach Road, Brunswick Heads. The system will generate approximately 7,700 kilowatt hours of clean renewable energy and eliminate 7.25 tonnes of greenhouse gas annually. This equates to removing 10 cars from the road permanently OR planting 430 trees every year.
Council has installed one of the largest solar systems in the Shire, with a 10 kW solar PV system erected at the Myocum Waste and Recycling Centre. The large free-standing system consists of 52 panels that will produce approximately 15,000 kWh of green energy and avoid 16,000 kg of CO2 emissions each year.
Each year, the system will produce renewable energy equivalent to:
- removing 20 cars off the road, or
- planting 829 trees for carbon absorption.
The suitability of installing a large solar system at the Myocum Waste and Recycling Centre site was identified in the local Renewable Energy Resources Study that Council commissioned in 2010.
Solar hot water roll out across Council facilities
As part of ongoing efforts to reduce the Shire's greenhouse gas emissions, Council has undertaken a bulk installation of solar hot water heaters across local community buildings, including:
- Ocean Shores Community Centre
- Suffolk Park Community Centre
- Byron Bay Council Depot
- Mullumbimby Neighbourhood Centre
- Brunswick Valley Community Centre
The bulk retrofit is an action under Council’s Greenhouse Action Strategy, which assists Council in reducing its greenhouse emissions and move towards a low carbon future.
It is expected that the retrofit will save over 15 tonnes of CO2 per annum.