Lockhart considers multi-million dollar renewable energy project

LOCKHART is set to become a national leader in efficient and renewable energy if a flagged solar project gains traction.

Two public meetings on November 21 will explore the opportunity for Lockhart to undertake a multi-million dollar energy project. 

Rodger Schirmer

Rodger Schirmer

“The purpose of the public information sessions is to outline the proposal to residents, provide residents with the opportunity to ask questions about the project and to gauge the level of community support for the project,” said Lockhart Shire Council mayor, Rodger Schirmer.

It is believed there are similar renewable energy projects running in the Northern Territory but nothing of this scale in the Riverina. Cr Schirmer said Lockhart had met certain criteria in consideration to host such a project. 

He said the size, and the fact it was physically contained in a grid format, and also had NBN connection plus a mix of residential and commercial service customers were all key factors. The area has about 800 people, 300 homes and uses 12.8 megawatt hours a day in average consumption. 

“The intention is to trial the project on a small community using the latest technology before replicating it on a larger scale,” Cr Schirmer said. He said if the project is successful it would provide significant reductions in power bills for residents. 

And it would also sure up Lockhart’s power security. “There will be zero threat to Lockhart’s power security as the connection to the electricity grid would remain,” he said. 

The project has the potential to provide significant reductions in residents’ power bills.

“Additional benefits for the town include increased commercial activity and other economic development opportunities due to the lower cost of electricity, improved environmental outcomes, job creation and new investment in the town,” he said.