Georges River Council's environmental work has been recognised on the national stage with its Hydropanel array at Hurstville Aquatic Leisure Centre in Penshurst selected as a finalist in the Renewable Energy category of the 2019 Cities Power Partnership Awards.
The Hydropanel Program was selected from a competitive field of entries from councils across Australia for the national awards, which recognise outstanding achievement by local governments in the fields of renewable energy, sustainable transport, energy efficiency, community engagement and climate advocacy.
Georges River Council mayor Kevin Greene praised council staff for their hard work on the project and said that the Hydropanel array, which creates filtered drinking water, will have significant environmental benefits.
"I am delighted that Council has been recognised for its commitment to sustainable practices with an award for the Hydropanel Program, which features incredible technology that essentially allows us to use sunlight to create water from thin air," Councillor Greene said.
"The Hydropanel array is a world first, it is completely self-sufficient and off-grid which makes it a stand-out compared to the established methods of providing clean drinking water at a facility.
"The eight Hydropanels at the centre produce the equivalent of 2,400 bottles of water per month, which offsets over 400,000 single-use plastic bottles over the panels' 15-year lifetime.
"I commend staff for their outstanding work bringing the Hydropanel Program to the Hurstville Aquatic Leisure Centre and look forward to the delivery of many more innovative sustainability initiatives from Council in the future."
David Craven, Director of the Cities Power Partnership, congratulated Council for being a finalist for the awards, saying that the range and quality of entries showed the extent to which local governments are becoming a vital part of Australia's climate solution.
"Georges River Council is an Australian local climate leader, and I'm proud to be able to recognise the important work they're doing through the Cities Power Partnership Awards," he said.
The system incorporates renewable solar photovoltaic panels and a small battery, which enables water production when the sun shines and water delivery on cloudy days or at night. This renewable energy innovation is unique as it does not require connection to either a water source or electricity.
The winners will be announced at the Cities Power Partnership's event on August 29 in Sydney.