Renewable energy in Cockburn
The City of Cockburn is leading the way in renewable energy. The City has been harnessing power from the sun since 2009 and has installed more than 5,700 photovoltaic panels on 22 community buildings, producing clean energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our community.
The City has the largest inventory of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems of any Local Government in Western Australia while also containing one of the State’s largest roftop solar systems at Cockburn ARC. Currently, the City's renewable energy is used to power 26 per cent of electricity from council facilities.
As well as solar, the City has a wind turbine art sculpture, provides electric vehicle charging stations in Spearwood, Cockburn Central and Success, utilises geothermal for heating the pools at Cockburn ARC and has a partnership for methane gas extraction at Henderson Waste Recovery Park.
We couple these efforts with energy efficiency measures, reducing our overall use of energy for City buildings and assets.
Renewable energy targets
In 2013, the City adopted a challenging but achievable target of 20 per cent renewable energy by 2020 for all Council buildings. The City achieved this target in 2018 and currently produces 26 per cent of its electricity for facilities from renewable energy. The City’s target aligns with the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target and demonstrates its commitment to embracing a new energy future.
Renewable Energy Policy
The City developed a Renewable Energy Systems Policy (LPP5.9) in 2011 to guide residents and businesses on approval requirements for wind turbines and solar photovoltaic systems. The policy outlines expectations for the installation and operation of renewable energy systems and provides a set of standards to minimise their impact on streetscapes, nearby properties and the natural environment.
Renewable energy projects
Henderson Waste Recovery Park
Renewable energy is produced at the Henderson Waste Recovery Park (HWRP) by methane extraction and flaring, which not only reduces emissions but manages our waste more sustainably. The methane extraction plant at the HWRP generates enough electricity to power over 3,000 homes. The roof of the Recycle Shop is home to a 3.6 kW solar PV system.
Cockburn ARC geothermal and solar
Cockburn ARC is home to one of Western Australia’s largest rooftop solar installation, with a massive 1MW system made up of 3,592 solar panels. The system generates approximately 48 per cent of the ARC’s annual power usage.
Cockburn ARC’s aquatic facilities are heated using a natural resource, geothermal energy. More than 3.8 million litres of water are heated by the geothermal system, saving proximately $500,000 per annum compared to a traditional gas boiler or electrical heating system. The system offsets 1,982 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum.
Renewable Hydrogen Feasibility Study
The City received a $149,412 grant from the State Government in 2020 towards a feasibility study on the development of a green hyrdrogen energy park at Henderson Waste Recovery Park (WRP). The City proposes to generate hydrogen from solar power as a zero emissions transport fuel for its waste collection and light vehicle fleets.
A renewable off-grid hydrogen plant at Henderson WRP would use solar PV array to power a deionised water electrolysis plant. This plant could enable:
The $325,704 feasibility study (including the $149,412 grant from the State Government) will determine the more detailed engineering, design requirements and economics of the green hydrogen energy park.
- Refuelling of zero-emissions fuel storage cells for 15-16 electric waste collection trucks and 50 light vehicles over a two-year period.
- Compressed hydrogen would also be transported to embedded fuel cell cogeneration at Cockburn ARC to reduce power purchased from the grid during peak power cost periods and provide thermal heating for the pool water to off-set natural gas usage via the collection of thermal energy from the fuel cell.
- Compressed hydrogen could be used to power and heat the City’s new administration building via a green hydrogen cell, in 4-5 years. Other City infrastructure like the resource recovery precinct could also be provided with uninterrupted power systems.
Solar powered electric vehicles
There are two electric vehicles charging stations at the City’s Civic Centre carpark on Coleville Crescent in Spearwood, and one at Success Library in Cockburn Central. The standard charging stations can charge an electric vehicle (EV) to about 50 per cent within the two-hour parking time limit for each bay. They are available during office and community facility opening hours. To use the stations, EV vehicle owners can contact the relevant supplier as detailed on each station. The power used by the charging stations is entirely offset through solar panels on the City’s buildings.
The Renewable Energy Vehicle (REV) Project team, sponsored by the Royal Automobile Club of WA (RAC) and University of Western Australia (UWA), donated the charge points for the Cockburn Central site with the City covering the cost of installation and power connection.
A third, fast-charge EV charging station is available to the public in Junction Boulevard, Cockburn Central. For more information on this charger, see this Media Release.
Coogee hybrid wind and solar light
The City has installed a hybrid wind and solar light next to the Coogee Beach Surf Lifesaving Club. This is free-standing structure comprises a vertical axis wind turbine and a solar panel that power an LED light. If the wind is blowing and the turbine isn’t spinning, it means that the battery tank, which stores the generated energy, is full. When there is no wind, the solar panel provides energy to batteries.
Cockburn Health and Community Facility
The Cockburn Health and Community Facility is home to a 99kW solar power system. It covers one third of the centre's roof with 423 solar photovoltaic panels. The system generates about 173 megawatts a year. It reduced the centre's greenhouse gas emissions by more than 171 tonnes in the first year and is expected to reduce over 4,284 tonnes over its projected life time.
Please contact Environmental Services for more information on renewable energy in Cockburn on 08 9411 3444 or at [email protected].