A town called Uralla, located in NSW Australia, has been chosen to be the country’s first zero net energy town (ZNET).
The project was initiated by a consortium of organizers who have been working together since mid 2013 with the support of the NSW Government; the members are:
- Institute for Rural Futures at the University of New England
- Office of Adam Marshall, Member for Northern Tablelands
- Regional Clean Energy Program of NSW Office of Environment & Heritage
- NSW Trade & Investment
- Regional Development Australia Northern Inland
- Starfish Initiatives
The Consortium chose Uralla amongst 5 possible New England towns: Uralla, Walcha, Manilla, Tenterfield and Bingara.
Uralla Shire Mayor Michael Pearce said:
“It’s really exciting to have the eyes of NSW – the eyes of Australia, really – on us…it’s like being selected to represent Australia,”
“A large amount of households and businesses already have solar panels… I would say the community is behind this effort 110 per cent.”
The ZNET project will take about 7-10 years until completion, and will consist of various renewable sources of energy, of which wind power will be one.
There are many other towns in Australia who are looking to become ZNETs however, Uralla is likely to achieve its goal first, due to the proper planning and experience of the organizations participating.