Mine switches on for new energy

POWERFUL MOMENT: Energy Innovation Co-operative project manager John Coulter, Labor candidate for Monash Jessica O’Donnell, Bass MLA Jordan Crugnale, Energy Innovation Co-operative chair Moragh McKay and Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio flicked the switch on the solar array at the Wonthaggi State Coal Mine.

THE future of renewable energy in Bass Coast and South Gippsland has come to the site of Wonthaggi’s famous coal mining industry.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio switched on the solar array at the Wonthaggi State Coal Mine on Friday.
The popular tourist attraction – known for its use of fossil fuels – will now be powered by a 91 kW solar panel array and 41 kWh battery storage.
When the Energy Innovation Co-operative was formed 10 years ago, this would have been considered a large project.
Encouragingly, it is now deemed small in the renewable energy landscape.
The project has been four years in the making.
“This is exciting because the Wonthaggi State Coal Mine provided jobs to so many and now it is at the centre of reinterpreting what energy means to us today,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
“Young people are looking to all of us to act now. There is no time left to waste to give us a fighting chance against climate change.”
This project has set off a chain reaction of projects throughout communities in Bass Coast and South Gippsland.
The co-operative developed a Southern Core Fund, in which surplus funds from energy projects are invested into community projects to transition community groups and businesses to renewable energy.
It is anticipated the rollout of this project will inspire other tourist attractions across Victoria.
The seed funding for this project was provided by Bass Coast Community Foundation.
“We are proud to have played a role in getting this project off the ground,” foundation deputy chair Carol Blair said.
Bass Coast deputy mayor Cr Bruce Kent said this was a great legacy to leave for grandchildren.
“It is a wonderful thing that I am able to go to my five grandchildren and say I was a part of this. I was a part of saving the world. I was a part of saving Australia. That’s who we are leaving this to,” he said.
South Gippsland mayor Cr Don Hill said the project put local shires on the cusp of revolutionary change and there were exciting times for sustainable growth ahead.
On top of this, Ms D’Ambrosio also opened a 100 kw solar PV system at the Wonthaggi Civic Centre.
This is set to save Bass Coast Shire Council $40,000 in energy bills a year.
“We’re helping regional councils take control of their energy costs so they can invest more in the essential services their communities need,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
“Local councils are playing a critical role in helping us achieve our target of zero net emissions by 2050.”
The State Government is increasing Victoria’s renewable energy target to 50 percent by 2030, putting more clean energy into the grid, increasing investment and driving down energy prices.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=28488

Posted by on May 7 2019. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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