COUNCILLORS have not ruled out the possibility of switching a landmark facility to solar power.
Tamworth Regional Council voted in favour of pursuing an $800,000 renewable energy overhaul of 11 facilities in the region, but it stopped short of giving the same treatment to AELEC, citing aesthetic and structural concerns.
Russell Webb moved the amendment to temporarily block solar power from the equine centre after he said it would “really take away” from the facility.
Glenn Inglis said there was also structural issues to consider which were explained in a report to council.
He said the “purlins” may not have sufficient capacity to hold solar structures on the roof.
“The amendment didn’t rule it out altogether,” he said.
“Hopefully, we keep an open mind to it and make a judgement.
“Ultimately, it’s about the business case, if it determines the purlins are not sufficient, that's going to be pretty expensive.”
He also raised concerns the sector was constantly-evolving and technology could advance markedly in the next decade, before council’s investment is returned in power savings.
Deputy mayor Phil Betts said the equine centre was designed to attract people and events to Tamworth.
“I don’t share the payback concern, but I think this is the direction we should be moving in,” Cr Betts said.
“It’s important we implement renewable energy, I’m not in favour of some other sources, but I am in favour of solar.”
It was a sentiment almost echoed by Juanita Wilson who said AELEC was a unique building which needed to be maintained.
“It’s essential we move into solar and renewable energy so I’m in support of the thrust of report,” she said.
Sites getting solar power: Country Music Hall of Fame, Lockheed Street depot, Sports Dome, Barraba Pool, Community Centre, TRECC, Tamworth Library, Westdale Water Treatment plant, Barraba Water treatment plant, Dungowan Dam.