Edify Energy’s $407mn solar farm approved in Griffith, New South Wales
Australian energy company Edify Energy’s 275MW solar project in Griffith, New South Wales, has been approved by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DoPE), it was announced yesterday.
The project will be situated near Darlington Point and once constructed is set to consist of between 800,000 and 1mn solar panels. Once complete, it is expected to generate around 577GWh of clean electricity per year, which will be sufficient to power around 130,000 households in New South Wales.
Clay Preshaw, DoPE Resource Assessments Director, stated: “The project has been assessed on its merits, under planning legislation and clear official policies to consider any potential benefits or impacts to the environment, the economy and the community.”
Around 300 people are set to be employed at the peak of the construction process, and according to a fact sheet released by the company Edify expects local employment opportunities to be a key benefit for the area as well as direct and indirect local investment, and a contribution to the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target which requires 33TWh of electricity production to come from renewable sources by 2020.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.