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Rockhampton cuts treatment costs with solar

A new solar energy facility at Glenmore Water Treatment Plant in central Queensland will save up to half of the plant’s electricity costs.

Construction will start in the coming months after Rockhampton Regional Council awarded the $2.6 million construction contract to provider Solgen Energy.

Mayor Tony Williams said that Rockhampton Regional Council is serious about building a sustainable future

“The 1.3M solar energy facility will be built near Fitzroy River Water’s headquarters in Parkhurst, and once completed will reduce the water treatment plant’s reliance on grid supplied electricity,” he said.

“Solgen are Australia’s largest commercial solar energy provider and have the expertise and skills to build an outstanding facility. They are a national company but will be using Queensland-based contractors as well as a local civil contractor to complete this work.”

Manager of Fitzroy River Water Dr Jason Plumb said that as well as being great value for money the tender submission from Solgen Energy included innovative design features.

“There will be single-axis tracking and the use of bifacial (double-sided) solar panels to increase the power generation capacity, as well as using crushed recycled glass from Council as a ground treatment to increase solar reflection and power generation using the double-sided panels,” he said.

In 2018 the Council created the Sustainable Rockhampton Investment Fund to support initiatives that will deliver a cleaner, greener future for the region.

Water and Supporting a Better Environment Portfolio Councillor Donna Kirkland said that the council aims to do things that are good for the environment and good value for ratepayers.

“Once constructed we will be able to save between 30% and 50% of the $1 million per year electricity bill we have for the Glenmore WTP, which will be a significant saving. It’s also being built in a way to allow expansion in the future,” she said.