MEDIA RELEASE - Switch to solar power makes a ‘reel’ difference at local anglers club

Some of the Sutherland Shire’s keenest fishers have netted some major savings with the St George and Sutherland Shire Anglers Club recently ditching their reliance on overhead power transmission and hooking up to an off-grid solar power system.

Converting the popular recreational fishing facility to run entirely on solar power generated onsite marks the first time one of the many properties managed by Sutherland Shire Council has made the switch to 100% renewable energy.

The conversion to solar power follows extensive work undertaken by Council to determine the best way to ensure ongoing power supply to the popular fishing facility in a manner that would also deliver a more sustainable future for the club and community.

Sutherland Shire Mayor, Councillor Carmelo Pesce, visited the club today to inspect the completed works, saying with Council committed to ensuring all its operations are carbon neutral by 2030, local residents could expect to see a greater reliance on renewable energy across Council facilities in the near future.

“While the conversion of St George and Sutherland Shire Anglers Club to off-grid solar-power is just a drop in the ocean in terms of the overall energy usage across all Council facilities, this is bound to have a ripple effect as more and more of our facilities gradually make the switch,” Mayor Pesce said.

“Not only does this off-grid solar solution ensure a reliable and sustainable power source for the anglers club, but it also reduces Council’s overall carbon footprint and serves as a model for future sustainable developments across the Sutherland Shire.

With the installation of 22 rooftop solar panels and battery back-up system at the clubhouse not only ensuring that all the clubs energy needs can be catered for onsite, it will also deliver an expected $2,000 in savings annually in expenditure on energy bills.

St George and Sutherland Shire Anglers Club President, Simon Gosby, said he was ecstatic that through the considerable energy savings generated each year the club would now have more funds at their disposal to cater to the needs of local members.

“We’re a low-cost club that relies on fund raising and volunteer work to help maintain the club. We’re beyond pleased with the result of going solar powered. The Club no longer receives electricity bills and the money saved can go back into the club, directly benefiting members,” Mr Gosby said.

“The Anglers Club is a social place for members and is well-used by the community, with close to 200 members. We provide a range of activities including fishing days for kids and retirees, many of whom come from neighbouring Anglicare Aged Care.

“Our members have already commented on the improved outdoor lighting, not to mention the feedback we have received from our neighbours, with less impact to surrounding homes.”

The conversion of the clubhouse to 100% onsite renewable energy follows other initiatives undertaken by Council as it works towards the goal of carbon neutral operations, including recycled road construction projects undertaken at Engadine and Bundeena, trial of electric waste vehicles and the adoption of electric vehicles within Council’s vehicle fleet.