Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, has visited the Maiden Gully CFA to unveil the completed solar project made possible through the Federal Government’s Energy Efficient Communities Program.
The brigade received $12,500 to install 6.6kW of solar panels and a Tesla Powerwall battery.
“I would like to congratulate the Maiden Gully CFA on their successful application,” Chesters said.
“They are paving the way for other community groups and organisations to promote sustainable energy.
“As we enter the bushfire season, back-up power will be an essential tool for this brigade.”
The program provides community groups with grants up to $12,500 for energy efficient equipment, energy generation and storage systems, and energy audits.
The objective of this grant is to support community organisations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve eergy efficient practices and increase the uptake of energy efficient technologies.
Maiden Gully Fire Brigade Treasurer, Andrew Howlett said the project was a community effort.
“Although the Federal Government funded two-thirds of the cost, the Maiden Gully IGA and BUFS met our contribution to help bring this project to life.
“We have received a great deal of help from Colin Lambie of the Bendigo Sustainability Group.
“A conservative estimate is that this system will save 6.8 tonnes of Greenhouse Gas Emissions annually.
“As well as the obvious environmental benefits, it means that we have back up power for the summer.
“We also see this project as showing community leadership in the field of renewable energy.
“There was only two of these grants (solar) per electorate, so we feel very fortunate about having got one of them,” Howlett said.
The Maldon Neighbourhood Centre also received $5,874 to install solar panels through the Energy Efficient Communities Program.