Renewable energy projects

Bioenergy 

1.3MW Bioenergy Plant

Bioenergy is renewable energy made from biomass. Biomass is organic matter from commercial or farming activities that can be utilised for its highest available reuse value by being 'fed' into a bioenergy plant.  

Where are we now? Council has completed a Biomass Sources and Siting Assessment which identified the Shire's green waste and sewage treatment plant (STP) biosolids as potential feedstocks for bioenergy facilities. Other feedstock, such as the growing of crops specifically planted for use as bioenergy feedstocks, were also considered. We are investigating putting bioenergy facilities at our STP properties to process the feedstock materials. 

Where to next? In late 2018 a Request for Tender sought responses from proponents for a feasibility-level engineering design and estimation of the total installed costs for one turnkey bioenergy facility. The scope of work under the proposed contract includes the design, supply, construction, commissioning and/or contract operations of proposed bioenergy facilities. The proposed timeframe is the end of 2020.

Brunswick Valley Sustainability Centre Management Plan(PDF, 10MB)

 More Information? Contact Bryan Green, Systems Environment Officer on 02 6685 9322

Large scale solar 

5MW Solar farm

Where are we now? Council-owned land at our Resource Recovery Centre at Myocum is being considered for a large scale ground-mounted solar farm. A site feasibility assessment identified that the site is suitable for a photo-voltaic solar facility of up to 5MW, which could be used to offset Council’s, and potentially the community’s emissions.

A 5MW solar system:

  • Generates enough energy to power the equivalent of  approximately 1000 average homes;
  • Reduces annual greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 6,750 tonnes;
  • Is the greenhouse gas equivalent of removing approximately 2,250 cars off our roads annually.

The area needed for a 5MW solar array is approximately five hectares or 12 acres.

Where to next? We are now doing a detailed feasibility business case, to fully understand the investment proposition, community delivery model, project risks, implementation structure, funding and financing options, electricity retailing models, procurement pathway and timing.

More Information? Contact Lucy Wilson, Acting Team Leader Resource Recovery and Quarry on 02 6626 7084

Rooftop Solar

Byron Bay Library, Sandhills Childcare Centre, Cavanbah Centre, Byron Resource Recovery Centre (Myocum Landfill), Mullumbimby Neighbourhood Centre and more

Where are we now? We have installed more than 200kW of rooftop solar across a range of assets including the Byron Bay Library, Sandhills Childcare Centre, Cavanbah Centre and our Resource Recovery Centre at Myocum.

Where to next? Council has a number of rooftop solar projects in the pipeline:

  • We are installing rooftop solar on three of our sewage treatment plant sites, at Bangalow, Byron Bay and Brunswick Heads. The projects should be completed in the 2019/20 financial year.

More Information? Contact our Sustainability and Emissions Reduction Officer on 02 6626 7295

Brunswick Valley Sustainability Centre

Where are we now? The Brunswick Valley Sustainability Centre is envisaged to be a site for sustainable eco-pursuits, renewable energy technologies and innovative environmental processes. The site is on operational land owned by Council near the sewage treatment plant in Valances Rd, Mullumbimby.

Council has adopted a Plan of Management to provide a framework for the management, development and future use of the Brunswick Valley Sustainability Centre, including a bio energy facility and solar energy farms.

Brunswick Valley Sustainability Centre(PDF, 10MB)

More Information? Contact Bryan Green, Systems Environment Officer on 02 6685 9322

Electric vehicles

Electric Vehicle (EV) Strategy

Where are we now? The Electric Vehicle (EV) Strategy(PDF, 9MB) was completed in November 2017 and provides an introduction to the benefits of electric vehicles and charging technology. It analyses the key challenges and solutions to enable further uptake of electric vehicles in the Northern Rivers, providing clear actions that local governments and business can take to encourage and facilitate a sustainable transport future.

Where to next? One of the key goals of the EV strategy is to establish a comprehensive network of charge stations in our region that will ensure electric vehicle users have reliable access to charge opportunities in the Northern Rivers region. In 2017 Council installed its first EV charging station in Byron Bay. Council is also installing a level 2 EV charge station at the Mullumbimby Administration Centre in conjunction with the 99kW solar carpark. Council is currently reviewing the EV trial to investigate the benefits of incorporating an electric vehicle into the Council fleet.

More Information? Contact: Our Sustainability and Emissions Reduction Officer on 02 6626 7295.

Mullumbimby Administration Building 99kW Solar Carpark

Where are we now? Byron Shire Council resolved in 2017 to be 100% net zero emissions (or carbon neutral) by 2025 and to source 100% of its energy through renewable sources by 2027. As part of this resolution, we are installing a solar carpark structure at our Administration building at 70 Station Street, Mullumbimby. The structure will provide around 20-25% of the building's daily electricity use as well as providing a shaded area for around 40 public carparks.

Tweed-based company, SAE Group, has been engaged by Council to build the 99kW solar PV structure on the southern end of the carpark. Being installed at the same time and powered by the system, will be a public-use level 2 Electric Vehicle charging station. 

Where to next? The construction of the solar car park will occur in three stages:

1. Preparatory civil works will commence in the last week of June.

2. The first major works stage will occur from 16 July to 22 July 2019 and will include tarmac preparation and structure construction.

3. The second stage of major works will last for approximately 3 weeks from 29 July to 15 August 2019 and will include solar fitting and connection.

Construction will take place only during daylight hours on Monday-Saturday and every effort will be taken to minimise noise and disruption for local residents.

Supporting Documents

About the Project(PDF, 250KB)

FAQ(PDF, 1MB)

Alternative Parking Options(PDF, 93KB)

Construction Zone(PDF, 307KB)

Construction Drawing(PDF, 204KB)

More Information? Contact: Our Sustainability and Emissions Reduction Officer on 02 6626 7295