The Launceston Aquatic Centre is set for an estimated $1.7 million switch to solar and electricity in a bid to reduce energy costs and the city’s carbon footprint.
The centre is powered by natural gas generators, but due to the increase in gas prices it was unlikely to yield a positive financial return past 2020.
Modelling by the City of Launceston council last year found the installation of heat pumps and solar panels was the solution.
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Mayor Albert van Zetten said it would be the council’s greatest single emission-reduction opportunity.
“It was clear that electric heat pumps and solar panels would be not only the cheapest form in the long term, but would significantly reduce the council’s carbon emissions,” he said.
“This new system is expected to achieve full cost recovery within four to five years and will then deliver ongoing savings to the centre and to Launceston ratepayers.
“[It] will see a massive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions – equivalent to removing 305 cars off the road every year.”
He said initial risks identified about rising electricity prices had been put to rest after a long-term contract was negotiated.
A development application has been lodged for the switch, which will be followed by a tender process with the project estimated at $1.7m.
Four heat pumps, 304 solar panels and associated infrastructure is proposed.
An environmental noise assessment found noise levels would be below 35 A-weighted decibels for nearby York Street properties if a barrier was installed over the heat pumps.
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