Council's latest solar upgrade and battery storage

Published on 01 December 2022


Clarence Valley Council (CVC) has improved its capacity to respond to natural disasters while taking a major step towards meeting its renewable energy targets.

Council's $900,000 solar upgrade and battery storage project at located at the Rushforth Road Works Depot in South Grafton has been specifically designed to improve capacity to respond to natural disasters.

"In the case of disasters we've now got a facility which can run if the grid goes down,"  Mayor Ian Tiley said. "As a vital piece of infrastructure during disasters, the depot can remain fully operational and totally independent if the power grid goes down.

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Mayor Ian Tiley tries out the new electric vehicle charging station at the Rushforth Road Works Depot.

"I'd like to convey appreciation on behalf of Council and the community to both State and Commonwealth governments for the BLER grant which, with Council's funding, enabled this project to happen," Mayor Ian Tiley said.

A total of $500,000 from national and state governments, through the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery (BLER) Fund, enabled Council to install an additional 110kW photovoltaic (PV) rooftop solar system, 200kWh battery storage system and 250kVA backup generator.

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The $400,000 in Council funding enabled the construction of the vehicle parking roof structure to house the rooftop solar and the provision of four electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

The new PV solar installation effectively doubles power generated from solar panels at the Rushforth Road Works Depot with 100kW of solar panels existing on the depots administration building also feeding power into the new battery.


"Council now has 42 of its buildings and facilities with PV solar systems with a total of 1,320 kW generating capacity, with seven systems accompanied with battery storage," CVC General Manager Laura Black said.

"Along with other lighting and energy efficiency projects a significant reduction in energy costs and emission reduction is being achieved."

Recently, in association with Essential Energy, all street lighting in the Clarence Valley was converted to LED technology, significantly reducing emissions and reducing ongoing costs.


CVC coordinator waste and sustainability Ken Wilson, Mayor Ian Tiley, Kim Potter from Department of Regional NSW, Deputy Mayor Greg Clancy, CVC General Manager Laura Black and contracted solar power specialist Jamie Harrison.

Check out CVC's Renewable Energy and Emissions Reduction Strategies here.

Council's adopted targets:

  • 50 per cent of Council’s electricity demand to be met from renewable energy before 2030 with long term goal to be 100 per cent.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions to be at least 40 per cent lower than 2017 levels before 2030 with long term goals to reach zero net emissions by 2050.


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