$63,500 solar boost for Ballarat region

Three Ballarat organisations are set to make big savings on their electricity bills thanks to funding from the Andrews Government’s Renewable Communities Program.

Labor Member for Wendouree, Juliana Addison, today visited McCallum Disability Services in Alfredton to announce a $49,500 grant to install a 40-kilowatt (kW) solar PV system.

In addition, Ms Addison announced $7,728 for Ballarat Renewable Energy and Zero Emissions Inc. to install a 10 kW solar array on the roof of Uniting Ballarat’s Restore Op-Shop and $6,363 for Coghills Creek Progress Association to install a 6kW solar PV system on the roof of the local hall.

Ms Addison said the local investments would help the three groups substantially reduce power costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

“The $49,500 commitment from our Government to install solar here at McCallum Disability Services will help reduce electricity costs by up to 65 per cent and the money will go back into their employment program which assists local people with a disability find work,” Ms Addison said.

“These three great solar projects will not only help reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also save money on their power bills so they can invest more in services that help the Ballarat community,” Ms Addison said.

Renewable Communities Program supports community-owned renewable energy projects and the local groups and associations delivering them.

The Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, said a total of nine projects have been funded across Victoria.

“We’re giving local communities the tools they need to drive down energy costs and these community-owned renewable projects are part of our plan to transition Victoria’s energy system to a low-carbon future,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

McCallum Disability Services Chief Executive Officer, Tyrone McCluskey, said the installation of solar panels will dramatically reduce running costs.

“McCallum Industries is pleased to be a recipient of the Renewable Communities Program.  This funding provides triple bottom line benefits for our organisation with a solar panel system reducing reliance on fossil fuel energy, leading to reduced operating costs and will allow those savings to be reinvested into our employment programs,” Mr McCluskey said.

The Renewable Communities Program is part of the Labor Government’s $20 million New Energy Jobs Fund, which is creating jobs and supporting clean energy.

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