The NSW Parliament Upper House has commended Western NSW councils involved in the Solar Energy eXchange Initiative (SEXI).
Mid-Western Regional Council is part of a group of 16 councils which plans to bid for a $200 million grant to develop a solar electricity generation network in Western NSW.
SEXI would be a partnership between local government, the national renewable energy flagship and ARENA, representing the federal government.
Each participating council would be provided with $1 million of photovoltaic arrays, to be installed on council buildings.
This would allow each council to save around $120,000 a year in electricity costs.
Around five medium-scale concentrating solar power plants would be build around central western NSW to trial and promote solar technology.
Greens MP John Kaye moved that the house congratulated the councils involved and called on all levels of government to increase their investment in solar technologies.
“Building solar thermal power plants and increasing solar PV installations in the state’s West makes both economic and environmental sense,” Dr Kaye said.
“Increasing renewable energy generation offers rich employment and environmental benefits for communities across NSW.
“The technology is available to create a reliable, low-carbon electricity system.
“Sixteen councils across NSW’s West have shown it is possible to work together to build renewable energy alternatives.
“Now it is time for the O’Farrell government to follow suit.”