YUM FUN: Councillor Chris Cherry and local environmental champion, 11-year-old Alyce Togo cut a cake model of the Tweed Regional Aquatic Centre.
YUM FUN: Councillor Chris Cherry and local environmental champion, 11-year-old Alyce Togo cut a cake model of the Tweed Regional Aquatic Centre. Scott Powick

Solar is making a splash

SOLAR energy has made an immediate splash in Murwillumbah, with the Tweed Shire Council officially turning on 486 panels at the community pool on Tuesday.

The new energy source for the Tweed Regional Aquatic Centre is expected to slash the annual power bill at the facility by roughly 18 per cent a year.

Deputy Mayor Chris Cherry joined primary school student Alyce Togoin turning on the solar panels at Tuesday's ceremony.

Cr Cherry said the project is aimed at ensuring residents can enjoys the Tweed's environment and nature well into the future.

"Council is committed to protecting and enhancing the Tweed's beautiful natural environment for current and future generations,” she said.

"With this installation, half of the council buildings target for solar have now had panels installed, saving 750 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere.”

Statistics released by the council state the panels will produce 165 kilowatts of power which will make up nearly one quarter of the facilities total electricity.

The council is expected to reduced the power cost to run the pool by up to $42,500 a year.

Cr Cherry said this saving will allow council to invest in more programs and services across the Tweed.

The project was funded by the NSW Government through the Stronger Country Communities Fund.

The state government invested $198,202 into the project, with deputy premier John Barilaro believing ratepayers will be the major beneficiaries of the solar panels.

"New solar panels provide huge environmental benefits and will cut operation costs, ensuring the well-loved community facility will be enjoyed for many generations to come,” he said.