RACV has equipped three East Gippsland community halls with solar power and battery storage as part of its $1 million Solar in the Regions program.
Swifts Creek Community Hall, Wairewa Hall and Clifton Creek Community Centre are now set up to function independently of the power grid when required, ensuring communications and critical power sources are still available during emergencies or when the grid goes down.
Swifts Creek Community Hall received a 12kW rooftop solar system and 9.6kWh of battery storage, Clifton Creek received a 7.35kW system and 16kWh battery storage with a system installed for future generator integration and Wairewa received a 10.36kW system and 12kWh battery storage, also with a system for future generator integration.
The Solar in the Regions program aims to improve safety in regional Victorian towns by equipping them with the means to manage extreme climate and bushfires. In total it will install 27 solar panel and battery systems on community halls, sports grounds and recreation reserves. Twenty-one installations are already complete, including in Omeo, Tallangatta, Wairewa, Wodonga, Goongerah, Clifton Creek, Yea, Aireys Inlet, Calivil, Anglesea, Heathcote and Dederang.
The $1 million East Gippsland investment follows RACV Solar’s response to the 2019/20 summer of catastrophic bushfires in the region, which included a $25,000 donation to the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund and a donation of a RACV flatbed truck and driver to deliver emergency supplies and equipment to hard-hit areas.
“Being able to keep the lights on, have refrigeration and power our recovery efforts in these buildings means our towns can now keep the essential services running when they need it the most,” says East Gippsland Shire Council Mayor, Cr Mark Reeves. “Aside from emergency recovery, these systems will assist in reducing the power running costs of the building for all the activities and events that are held in these spaces.”