Council continuing community solar installs

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Council’s solar panel installations continue, with community facilities receiving panels to offset their energy use.

Panels will be installed on Men’s Sheds in Mooroolbark and Yarra Glen, with further installations on the Warburton Waterwheel visitor centre, CIRE community school and Golden Wattle Club taking place this month.

Yarra Ranges Mayor, Jim Child, said these systems would help community groups to reduce power bills while lessening their environmental footprint.

“When you’re running a community group, the budget is always somewhere front-of-mind – making sure ends meet while carrying out your work,” he said.

“By installing solar panels on Men’s Sheds and other community facilities, we’ll be able to help take some strain away by reducing energy bills, meaning groups can make sure their budget goes to their work, their materials and helping others – instead of to keeping the lights on.

“The flow-on benefit is that these groups will be able to rely less on the grid and reduce their environmental footprint.

“The panels installed on the Men’s Sheds have been repurposed from buildings removed as part of the Civic Centre Redevelopment in Lilydale – panels that are in great condition, with plenty of working life ahead and can now benefit the community as they have benefitted Council over recent years.

“These latest installations follow a bundle of preschool solar installations last year, which were funded by the Federal Government and installed by Council, and I’m proud that we’ve been able to help roll out solar systems through the community.”

Council has installed nearly 4000 solar panels to date, on over 50 public and community facilities.

These solar installation projects align with Council’s Liveable Climate Plan, which outlines major goals for reducing Council’s environmental impacts and switching to renewable energy – such as 100% renewable energy use in Council services and infrastructure from 2030, net zero operational spend on electricity by 2040 and net zero emissions by 2040.

Cr Child said this work involves projects across different areas of Council, such as an upcoming energy audit and community climate change project.

“Through the next six months, we’ll be undertaking energy audits at 19 community facilities, so we can understand what improvements can be made to increase energy efficiency and reduce environmental impacts,” he said.

“We’ll also be upgrading two Chirnside Park preschools with LED lighting and installing two battery-and-solar systems at the Yarra Junction Bowling Club and Warburton’s Koha Café.

“This project has been funded by Sustainability Victoria’s Community Climate Change and Energy Action grants, and we’ll have more to share with the community soon.

“I encourage everyone in the community to visit yarraranges.vic.gov.au/sustainability to see what else our teams are working on, or find tips for how they can live a bit lighter on the earth.”

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