Solar farm anniversary shines a light on City's power pledge

15 Nov 2021

City of Newcastle is powering ahead with its commitment to renewable energy, celebrating the success of its solar farm while also rolling out more rooftop solar systems at key facilities.

This month marks two years of operation of the five-megawatt solar farm, which was built at the Summerhill Waste Management Centre on a capped landfill site.

Covering an area of around five football fields, the solar farm's 14,500 photovoltaic solar arrays are producing enough electricity to meet the equivalent annual power needs of more than 1300 Newcastle households.

The project is expected to save ratepayers around $9 million, after costs, over its 25-year lifespan, and ensures City of Newcastle is meeting 100 per cent of its power supply through renewable energy sources, in conjunction with a power purchase contract that sources electricity from the state's largest windfarm.

Individual rooftop solar systems are also adding to City of Newcastle's clean energy mix, with more than 800 kilowatts of photovoltaic systems installed across 16 key council sites including the City, Wallsend and New Lambton libraries, No.1 and No.2 sportsgrounds, Newcastle Art Gallery, Newcastle Museum, the City Administration Centre at 12 Stewart Avenue, the Visitor Information Centre and the Works Depot.

An additional 100 kilowatts are being installed this year, with systems recently commissioned at Fort Scratchley and Summerhill Waste Management Centre, while planning is underway to add a rooftop solar system to the Civic Theatre.

This commitment to renewable energy is among the range of strategies being implemented under the Climate Action Plan 2021-2025, which are designed to allow City of Newcastle to achieve its adopted target of net zero emissions for its operations by 2030.