BUNDABERG Regional Council is making headway in its quest to save ratepayer money - and the environment - with the announcement of a solar farm that will save $200,000 in energy costs every year.
Mayor Jack Dempsey unveiled the site today at the Rubyanna Waste Water Treatment Plant, where the 1500 solar panels are to be installed.
The council has already saved more than $1 million on power over the last 12 months through energy efficiency measures, from LED lighting to a new electricity retail contract.
"That retailer has been able to show us more efficient systems so that instead of reaching high peaks, we're able to keep a nice steady flow of electricity to our council infrastructure 24 hours, seven days a week," Cr Dempsey said.
"That drives our tariffs down, and we've seen a 30% reduction of electricity costs at the Bundaberg Airport alone.
"We're trying to drive down our current $6.2 million electricity bill by using different energy efficiencies and there are more to come."
The solar farm is a first for the council, and comes off the back of a proposed 85mW solar farm from a private developer, Esco Pacific, on 175Ha of farming land at Isis River.
The panels will help power the plant, which is currently under construction "on time and under budget".
"As well as reducing electricity costs we're also enhancing the beautiful environment," Cr Dempsey said of the council's efficiency measures.
"The flaring at our rubbish tips means a saving of 47,000 tonnes of carbon to date, equivalent to many thousands of cars on the road.
"All of that is coupled with our Open For Development program that sees up to 100% reductions in infrastructure fees and charges, and the private sector is now looking to expand into solar farms and other energy efficient devices, supported by council."