Central NSW Joint Organisation works collaboratively with its 11 member councils to deliver value through 5 key regional energy activities.
Southern Lights NSW is an enabling infrastructure project designed to deliver better, safer, cheaper lighting and smarter, connected communities. Not only will lighting levels be improved, the project will provide significant connectivity benefits to regional and rural communities across southern NSW from Bega to Broken Hill.
The project will see one of the largest deployments of smart-enabled LED lighting in Australia, with over 75,000 LED street lights deployed across a geographic area that is approximately the same size as the United Kingdom.
Energy Management Program
Member councils utilise energy management software to analyse and identify opportunities to reduce their electricity consumption. CNSWJO provides support to member councils in this regard.
Additionally, CNSWJO works with member councils to procure electricity for council sites, which includes large market sites, mass market sites and streetlighting. The most recent round of electricity procurement was conducted in late 2019 with a new contract commencing on 1 January 2020 for a period of 3 years.
Electric Vehicles Policy and Toolkit
CNSWJO member councils have a keen interest in electric vehicles and are working on a variety of projects to support and encourage the uptake of electric vehicles in Central NSW.
A Toolkit has been developed by CNSWJO and its member councils to help councils, businesses and charging station operators to understand and navigate the process of installing chargers throughout the Central NSW region.
The Toolkit is designed to walk through the necessary steps involved in installing electric vehicle chargers including considerations such as site selection, charging infrastructure, required approvals, the installation process and signage.
Members are also working on a regional project to identify key locations to install EV charging stations. A strategic approach to charging infrastructure will ensure that electric vehicle drivers have the most logical and stress-free journey through the region. The project will have a strong tourism focus to ensure there is inter-connectivity with the Sydney and Canberra.
Solar Panel and Battery Innovation
In 2018/19, seven member councils participated in an alternate energy options analysis which assessed a total of 57 council sites ranging from swimming pools, administration buildings, depots and libraries using ‘behind-the-meter’ solar to carparks as solar generation sites.
A regional procurement process for solar and batteries on council buildings is planned in the future.
Innovation in the energy market emergent opportunities
CNSWJO member councils have a strong interest in investigating renewable energy opportunities, both through their standard electricity contracts, the installation of solar panels, as well as other innovative approaches as they arise.
CNSWJO and its members are continually looking for opportunities to not only reduce their electricity consumption, but also support and engage in the uptake of renewable energy.