Republished from the Latrobe Valley Community Power Hub October Newsletter
The Macalister Demonstration Farm near Maffra is a commercial dairy farm focused on using science and demonstration to stimulate the take-up of innovative practices to boost productivity and profitability. The co-operative has just installed a 61kW ground-mounted solar system and is considering plans to add Tesla battery storage. They hope to cut grid power consumption and change the way energy is produced.
The Department of Land Water and Planning, and volunteer Committees of Management are leading the way with an exciting new energy efficient program for public places! Eleven Gippsland public halls and recreation reserves have shared almost $220,000 worth of funding from the Victorian Government’s Sustainability Fund to install solar systems to help them reduce their energy bills and sustain local community groups.
Projects have been completed, with systems installed at: Alberton West Recreation Reserve, Binginwarri Recreation Reserve, Cowwarr Recreation Reserve, Darnum Recreation Reserve, Flynn Hall, tennis club, Giffard Hall Recreation Reserve, Old Gippstown, Gormandale Recreation Reserve, Rosedale Recreation Reserve, Stradbroke Hall and Recreation Reserve (and) Toongabbie Recreation Reserve.
Another 23 Gippsland halls and reserves are almost ready for their solar power installations. Others may be added to the list as well. Public buildings and sport and recreation facilities run by volunteer Committees of Management in Baw Baw, Latrobe City and Wellington Shires are (all) eligible for this funding, which is being rolled out in stages across these shires.
The Community College Gippsland has received a $50,000 grant under the Latrobe Valley Authority’s Community Facility Fund towards installing a solar power system at their Warragul campus. The system will not only have a positive impact on the College’s environmental footprint but will also reduce their energy costs by over $10,000 per year!
The Nicholson River Winery, which was one of the first wineries in Eastern Victoria and has been running for 40 years, has installed 44kW of solar. Owner Ken Eckersley said the reasons were to reduce power bills but also to cut emissions and help prevent further global warming.
The State Coal Mine in Wonthaggi is installing solar to power their mine in an ‘Old Energy New Energy” project.