The Sunshine Coast Solar Farm took out the top gong at the National Federation Awards last night in Canberra (August 23), winning the national award for Environmental Leadership and Sustainability.
Sunshine Coast Council competed against other state winners in the sustainability category after winning the Local Government Managers Association Sustainability Excellence Award in April.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said this was the fourth prestigious award the solar farm had won in the past 12 months and goes to prove the value of investing in this project on behalf of the region.
“To win the national award for environmental leadership and sustainability speaks to the very heart of what Sunshine Coast Council is all about and underpins our commitment to becoming Australia’s most sustainable region,” Cr Jamieson said.
“This game changing project has delivered day after day since it was switched on in July last year, to a tune of $1.7 million so far.
“Every dollar we don’t spend on electricity is a dollar better used delivering the services and facilities our region needs.
“We are also about to hit 30,000 megawatt hours of generated energy with a resultant saving of almost 23,000 tonnes in carbon emissions – which is great news for our environment.”
Economic Development and Innovation Portfolio Councillor Stephen Robinson said the award recognised the achievements of individuals and teams working to achieve great things for their communities.
“The Solar Farm is certainly working for our community but it’s just one part of the clean energy puzzle, representing just 10% of the region’s current solar generation,” Cr Robinson said.
“Forty per cent of homes on the Sunshine Coast have already made the switch to rooftop solar and it’s our community which can make the most significant impact.
“That’s why, over the next six months, council will be providing information to help our community make informed renewable energy choices, starting with free renewable energy sessions at council libraries from August 28.
“We’ll also be working with independent renewable energy experts to provide information through social media and on our website to help our community learn about renewable energy options, rebates, energy saving and making the most out of their existing systems.”
The Sunshine Coast Solar Farm has previously been recognised at the Planning Institute of Australia Awards for planning excellence, received the Wendy Chadwick Encouragement Award for innovation and won the Local Government Managers Australia (Queensland) Award for Sustainability Excellence.
2018 Environmental Leadership and Sustainability Finalists
· Solar Farm, Sunshine Coast Council QLD
· Tuggerah Lakes Digital Resource and Communication Program – Central Coast Council NSW
· Bayswater Brook Catchment Management Project – City of Bayswater WA
· Sustainability Performance Platform – City of Perth WA
· Materials Recovery Facility – Northern Adelaide Waste Management Authority SA
· Organic Waste Management Program – City of Port Phillip VIC