Belrose's moment in the sun

Published:
01/04/2020

 

Northern Beaches Council will consider a proposal to turn the old Belrose tip into a solar farm, as it moves towards net zero carbon by the year 2050.

Councillors Stuart Sprott and Kylie Ferguson will introduce a motion to the next meeting, asking Council to investigate the viability of building the solar farm.

Councillor Sprott says the location of the old tip site is key, as it is situated net to the Belrose electricity substation. 

In the past, Council has looked into running solar farms in country areas, such as Gundagai, and transferring the electricity to the Northern Beaches. 

However, Councillor Sprott hopes stationing a farm in Belrose will mean Council can connect to the power grid with very low infrastructure cost and inject jobs into the local economy.

“Putting it [the solar farm] at the old tip helps to reduce our infrastructure costs, it’s more productive, plus it produces local jobs for our community,” he says.

“That’s where I think local government can really help with stimulating the economy. 

“We can have a business case for this started and ready to go, so that once we start to get over the immediate impact of the coronavirus, we’ll have projects ready to go and implement.
Nigel Howard, founder of the Northern Beaches Climate Action Network, says while he supports the idea, the business case will need to explore whether the grid can take that amount of power at that node and store it efficiently. 

“Everyone gets excited about adding renewable energy into the grid, the key issue is firming and storage of the network,” he says. 

“If you have a point on the grid that simply can’t use the power, then it won’t be effective.

“If it’s a large enough site and it’s got good solar access though, then why not investigate? In principle, it’s a good idea.”

Author:
Stephanie Aikins, Journalist, Peninsula Living Magazine

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