After campaigning, submissions and lobbying TweedCAN has secured a funded plan for 29 projects totalling 3.2 MegaWatts of Solar plus storage to make Tweed Shire Council self powered by 50% renewable energy in 8 years.
There are many people to thank for this achievement both inside and outside Council but without TweedCAN the result would have been much lower and may not have passed at all. More details
The outcome has been years in the making, starting well before the last Council election and progressing through several stages to convince the council administration as well. As late as June this year there were still claims that this was not council business and perhaps cheap overseas carbon credits could be purchased instead. Even in the final meeting in October, amendments were needed to avoid possibly stalling more than half of the plan.
Most of the projects will pay for themselves in 5 years and the council will save $1.5m/year in energy costs. The scheme will be an investment in the future of the community, building skills and capabilities. If the community as a whole were to match the council then by 2025 an additional $50m/year would be retained in the local economy, equivalent to 700 permanent full time jobs. Even more is possible by extending the target to 100% renewable and by keeping up with the immanent transition to electric vehicles.
It goes to show what a small community group can do.