People Stories

Delivering Sustainability for the City of Newcastle

Author: City of Newcastle

Adam Clarke, Program Coordinator in the City Innovation and Sustainability team at the City of Newcastle, is making some impressive contributions to mitigating climate change.

Employed at Council since 2012, Adam has shown outstanding leadership in being able to inspire, educate, advocate and deliver on key sustainability projects for the council and its community. He previously worked as a program analyst and corporate affairs advisor at Low Carbon Australia (now part of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation) providing program coordination and support for the $100m Energy Efficiency Program and Carbon Neutral Programs. 

With a Bachelor of Laws and a Diploma of Legal Practice from the University of Newcastle Adam was also admitted as a lawyer in the Supreme Court of NSW and has undertaken further training in Project Management. 

Adam’s contribution is extensive. Some of the projects he has delivered include:

  • The Energy Hunter program which generated detailed energy efficiency audits, real-time monitoring, workshops and business case development to over 500 businesses across the Hunter region. By the time the program concluded, participating businesses were saving a combined 4GWh and over $1.1m per year in electricity, with the program awarded the NSW Greenglobe for Climate Change leadership
  • The development and construction of a 5MW solar farm on landfill that consists of 14,500 panels and generates over 7.5GWh of renewable energy per year for Council
  • Upgrade of over 4,000 Streetlights across the local government area to reduce electricity use by 1.3GWh and save council over $240,000 annually
  • Design and construction of an e-transit hub with Solar Car Park, battery storage, 5 Electric Vehicle (EV) charge points, smart parking and e-bike share racks. This state-of-the-art hub provides a key demonstration of how to transition to clean-energy powered transport.
  • Roll-out of a fibre connected CBD wide smart lighting network that supports environmental sensing, Wi-Fi and public charging.
  • Intelligent building networks and research in collaboration with CSIRO including a network of sky cameras to predict impact of clouds on solar output.
  • Purchase of Council’s first EV fleet cars to demonstrate their value and introduce staff to the new modes of transport.
  • Design and delivery of a city public EV charging network
  • Involvement in a multi-partner autonomous vehicle trial and OnDemand shuttle service to demonstrate the future of transport.
  • Design and patenting of an internet of things environmental sensor unit that can be integrated with the City’s Smart pole network.

Adam’s passion is his profession. He has been keen to share his expertise with other local governments and businesses through presenting at conferences and being a key organiser and facilitator of the Smart Future Cities conference. 

His role is also strategic, having been involved with the development of Newcastle’s Smart City Strategy and the new 2025 Climate Action Plan. 

Adam’s commitment and achievements have not gone unnoticed as Adam was recently announced the winner of the Louise Petchell Memorial Award for Individual Sustainability at the LGNSW Excellence in Environment Awards.

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