$500,000 to deliver solar energy hub in north east

Alpine Shire Council and six other north east Victorian councils have combined to receive $500,000 in funding that will subsidise solar panel installations for residents.

The ‘North East Solar PV Community Hub – Beyond Zero’ project was one of five recipients from the first round of the state government’s $5 million Solar Hubs Program and aims to help deliver 8.6MW of community based solar power across Victoria by 2013 across 10 ‘solar energy hubs.’

In the north east, around 2,100 households will be installed with over 4.2 MW of solar PV, saving more than 441,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions over the life of the panels.

Acting CEO Heather Green said the grant, which equalled the combined contribution of the councils, would help get solar panels on roofs and educate the community about solar power ensuring long term benefits for north east Victoria.

“The North East Solar PV Community Hubs – Beyond Zero project aims to reduce financial barriers for solar panel installations by minimising the payback period of renewable energy investment, while at the same time acting on climate change,” she said.

“Alpine Shire Council is delighted to be working with north east councils to help our communities reduce their carbon footprint, support innovation and develop the domestic PV sector.

“It will also educate and inform potential adopters of PV technology and drive investment and job creation in the solar sector across north east Victoria.

“The local councils are well placed to coordinate this program on behalf of residents, businesses and industry due to their unique ability to negotiate with suppliers and attract funding across a range of programs to achieve economic, social and environmental outcomes."

The objectives of the North East Solar PV Community Hubs – Beyond Zero project include

  • Reduce overall energy consumption by increasing awareness and avoiding transmission losses associated with non-local generation of power.
  • Reduce reliability on traditional power supplies by introducing locally generated renewable sources of energy through innovative technologies or improved infrastructure.
  • Develop local jobs through investment, knowledge transfer and capacity building.
  • Increase community awareness of the real costs of energy and available opportunities to reduce these costs through encouraging intelligent design and sustainable development.
  • Reduce emission of greenhouse gases.

Alpine Shire, Benalla Rural City, Indigo Shire, Mansfield Shire, Towong Shire, Rural City of Wangaratta and City of Wodonga councils make up the North East Solar PV Community Hubs – Beyond Zero project.

The North East Solar PV Community Hubs – Beyond Zero project addresses actions outlined in ‘Taking Action for Victoria’s Future – Victorian Climate Change White Paper – The Action Plan’.

The North East Solar PV Community Hubs – Beyond Zero project also delivers on objectives outlined in the Hume Strategy for Sustainable Communities, recently completed by the Department of Planning and Community Development and several local and state agencies.

Resident’s interested in being involved in this project should email their name, phone number and address to info@alpineshire.vic.gov.au.

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