A 130kW rooftop solar plant has been installed at the new-look Kilcoy Racecourse.
A 130kW rooftop solar plant has been installed at the new-look Kilcoy Racecourse.

New tech project at council to save tens of thousands

A SOUTH-east Queensland council has cut nearly $2000 from its library power bill after installing solar panels last year.

Solar panels at the Esk Library are part of the Somerset Regional Council's renewable energy project, which aims to reduce the amount of power used by the council.

Council's director of Finance Geoffrey Smith said council was successful in gaining funding for eight of 13 projects.

"Monthly savings are evident on accounts such as the Esk Library and Esk Office, where electricity costs have been reduced from $3394 in October 2017, to $1436 in October 2019," he said.

Renewable energy has been a key point of focus in the New Year for Somerset Regional Council, with three new rooftop solar plants projects completed.

The new systems were installed at Kilcoy Racecourse, Lowood Library and Fernvale Indoor Sports Centre, and will generate 130kW of power.

They are the latest of 13 projects completed so far, which aims to increase efficiency and reduce running costs at the council-owned facilities.

Other projects have been completed at libraries, offices, halls, depots, and sporting facilities.

"These solar initiatives will have financial and environmental benefits for the community and will ultimately pay for themselves," Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said.

"We are also pleased that 12 of council's 13 solar projects to date have been contracted to local businesses following competitive tender processes."

Mr Smith said the work had been completed in part due to support from the state's Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program.

Following on from the success of these initial thirteen projects, further solar installs are planned for the Kilcoy Sports Centre, Toogoolawah Swimming Pool, Condensery Art Gallery, Esk Workshop/Store and Esk Showgrounds in 2020.