Solar saleyards the key to Wangaratta's renewable energy savings

RENEWABLE REGION: Countrywide Energy director Geoff Drucker and deputy mayor Harvey Benton, who said Wangaratta could have one of the greenest saleyards going around. Picture: MARK JESSER

RENEWABLE REGION: Countrywide Energy director Geoff Drucker and deputy mayor Harvey Benton, who said Wangaratta could have one of the greenest saleyards going around. Picture: MARK JESSER

A $2 million project to install solar panels on the roof of the Wangaratta Saleyards could help lower energy costs across all of the council’s operations.

Wangaratta Council has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Countrywide Energy to conduct a feasibility study into installing 2500 solar panels on the roof – enough to power about 200 homes.

Countrywide Energy director Geoff Drucker said the project could begin early next year. “It works out from a council’s perspective very favourably because they can guarantee their energy prices going forward, which these days is critical because energy prices are rising so quickly,” he said.

“(Wangaratta) is a beautiful spot with a lot of sunshine, but we’ve also got a council that is very cooperative and keen to see renewable energy in this part of the world.”

Co-director Leigh Newberry said the panels would generate up to a megawatt of power.

Leigh Newberry

Leigh Newberry

Deputy mayor Harvey Benton said solar was always part of the plan when upgrading the saleyards roof in 2015.

“Hopefully that will have some impact on costs that we can put down to the vendors and keep this facility firing along,” he said.

“We’ve got to become carbon neutral, well this is one way … It’s probably as green a saleyards as you’re likely to see.”

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