Summerhill Solar Income Double Forecast

The five-megawatt solar farm installed at the Summerhill Waste Management Centre generated almost twice the revenue it was expected to make annually.

Forecasts used in the business case’s projected average of $250,000 a year. The farm earned more than $420,000 in revenue from when it went live in mid-November and the end of April.

During the January bush fires, Newcastle supported the state’s damaged energy grid as a net exporter. 

A renewable power purchase agreement with a wind farm that came into effect on 1 January, making the City the first NSW Council to be powered 100 per cent by renewables, saved a further $30,000.

The business case showed the solar farm would save rate payers around $9 million, after costs, over its 25-year lifespan – and so far, it’s on track to do even better,” Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said. 

The solar farm helped us exceed our renewable energy goals under the Newcastle 2020 Carbon and Water Management Action Plan, which targeted 30 per cent of our electricity needs from low-carbon sources.

The Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership Director David Craven said the solar farm was a “fantastic accomplishment by the City of Newcastle”.

They have again stepped up as leader in renewables and as a leader amongst local governments taking significant action on climate,” Mr Craven said.

Renewable energy is the cheapest form of new energy generation and is proving to save Novocastrians millions, while creating a healthy future for this community.”

The City is also converting fleet vehicles to electric and installing an electric vehicle charging network powered by solar panels and battery storage, while adding more panels to council buildings.

We recently added an additional 100-kilowatt roof top photovoltaic system to our Waratah Works Depot, doubling the capacity of the system installed onsite in 2013 and taking total generation of our 12 solar systems to almost 9 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy each year,” Councillor Nelmes said.

Our five-megawatt solar farm and over 660 kilowatts of rooftop solar provide the equivalent energy needs of more than 1,770 Newcastle households a year with clean, renewable energy.”

For its commitment to renewables and reducing carbon emissions, the City won the prestigious Local Government Sustainability Award in 2019 and is currently a finalist for Environmental Leadership and Sustainability in the 2020 NSW Local Government Excellence Awards.