Traditional energy sources of black and brown coal are finite resources that leave a significant environmental footprint. Such kinds of power are costly to the community as ageing generator infrastructure requires updating and expansion to provide for consumer demand in our electronic age. Gas is a cleaner source of energy but is also being used faster than it is renewed.
Renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind, thermal and wave have gained momentum in recent times. In a climate such as that of South Australia in particular, it makes sense to utilise solar and wind energy. Solar and wind, along with the more experimental solar thermal and wave energies, are renewable and clean sources of power.
Council has embraced these alternative technologies as an integral aspect of reducing its carbon footprint and to model the benefits of solar and wind power. Key community-use buildings, such as the Golden Grove Recreation and Arts Centre, the Greenwith Community Centre, and the Library Learning Centre have solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed. We have also supported our residents by offering community bulk buy programs to make solar PV more accessible for homes.
A recent proud addition by Council is a 4kW vertical axis wind turbine at the Wynn Vale Community Centre - a first for South Australia.
This turbine can catch wind from all directions and can operate in variable wind speeds. It also has a smaller environmental footprint than the mainstream horizontal axis type. The installation is predicted to generate 2,400 to 3,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per annum, approximately half the usage by the Wynn Vale Community Building.