How Solar Batteries can improve the community?
This project was initiated to start the process of installing solar power on community buildings, as a way of making these buildings more resilient to grid outages and more environmentally sound.
TRIN obtained funding from the government’s Stronger Communities Program, administered through the office of Helen Haines, MP for Indi. We worked closely with Indigo Shire to install a battery at the Rutherglen Senior Citizens clubrooms. We can monitor the operations of the solar panels and the battery to demonstrate to the community just how these systems work and the savings that are possible.
What are the project activities and outcomes?
Our group aims to lead and encourage community and business members in the Indigo North area to power their townships, businesses and homes with 100% renewable and community owned energy.
We will set up a hub of community buildings in Rutherglen with solar power and batteries with the objective of demonstrating, through a targeted outreach program, the advantages of renewable energy to the community and businesses. This Indi Stronger Communities Programme project will leverage the forthcoming installation of new solar panels on the Rutherglen Senior Citizens Club by Indigo Shire and provide us with the first step in our hub development.
The proposed TRIN Outreach program, backed by actual data on renewable energy storage and costs, will encourage and improve community knowledge and uptake of renewable energy in North Indigo. In turn the increased adoption of solar power and batteries will increase the resilience of the community and their businesses by reducing reliance on expensive and less reliable electricity from the grid. It will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the region.
Recently hundreds of positive Facebook reactions to the news of a grant for solar power and batteries at the Barkly Park sports complex in Rutherglen is evidence that the North Indigo community is ready to embrace this technology. The project cost of $18500 will be used to purchase a Tesla Powerwall battery and install it with the solar panels system on the Rutherglen Senior Citizens Club. TRIN is in the process of engaging with older and more advanced like-minded groups in Yackandandah and Beechworth and we will be the vital Chiltern, Rutherglen and Wahgunyah missing link in a “whole of Indigo” approach to renewable energy use.
How will the project support community participation and deliver social benefits to the local community?
Community participation in education and adoption programs for resilient and 100% community owned energy systems will be achieved by using solar and battery data from the SC Clubrooms and other public/ multi use buildings as a focus and base for our TRIN outreach program.
Our project include new improved knowledge of why renewable energy is a viable alternative, more reliable and cheaper energy systems, cost-savings for business and households, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and an increased sense of community participation and togetherness.