Canberra's renewable energy facilities host open day
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Canberra's renewable energy facilities host open day

Canberra's renewable energy providers threw their doors open on Saturday to showcase the ways the ACT and southern NSW are helping to reduce carbon emissions.

The Renewable Energy Trail, celebrating 2016 Renewable Energy Day, took Canberrans and tourists to sites across the ACT and surrounding areas of NSW.

Tesla car owner, Slava Kozlovskii with members of the Canberra electric vehicle association, Peter Campbell and Mark Hemmingsen take part in the Renewable Energy Day in Tuggeranong.

Tesla car owner, Slava Kozlovskii with members of the Canberra electric vehicle association, Peter Campbell and Mark Hemmingsen take part in the Renewable Energy Day in Tuggeranong. Credit:Elesa Kurtz

The day kicked off, under appropriately sunny skies, at the Mount Majura Solar Farm, which began operations this year.

A bus took visitors to Canberra Institute of Technology's Renewable Energy Skills Centre of Excellence and Renewables Battery Test Centre, before moving on to the "Big Dish" at the Australian National University, a display of electric vehicles in Tuggeranong, and Googong Dam's mini hydroelectric facility.

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A separate bus ventured into NSW, touring the Woodlawn Bioreactor and wind farm.

ACT Environment Minister Mick Gentleman and Climate Change Minister Shane Rattenbury officially opened the event.

Mr Rattenbury said about 25 per cent of the ACT's power supply was coming from renewable energy, but projects due to come online next year would boost that figure.

He said the government's target of 100 per cent renewable energy for the territory by 2020 had helped Canberra's economy and reputation.

"The ACT is proof that renewable energy brings economic growth and economic benefits to those who invest in it," he said.

"Our city is fast becoming an internationally renowned hub for investment, training and research in renewable energy."

Mr Rattenbury said the trail gave locals the chance to see where their power came from, as well as the steps the ACT had already taken to reach the renewable energy target.

"People don't often get the chance to visit these facilities, so I think there was some enthusiasm to get out there and take the chance while it was on offer," he said.

"There was quite a crowd out there, people having a lot of fun."

The Renewable Energy Trail was held in the same week a report found the ACT well ahead of other Australian states and territories in emission reduction targets.

The ACT also won the Carbon Disclosure Project's award for "Best Renewable Target" during the week.

Stephen Jeffery is a producer at The Canberra Times

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