Solar, battery technology powering ahead

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Charged up: Greensync’s Bruce Thompson shows Sorrento Community Centre manager Tracey Trueman how the solar and battery system works. Picture: Yanni

A NEW solar and battery system at Sorrento Community Centre will lower electricity bills, act as a renewable energy education centre for visitors and redirect power back to the grid during days of peak demand.

The system, supplied through the Community Grid Project and the state government’s New Energy Jobs Fund, features 7kW solar panels on the roof coupled with a 6kW Fronius solar inverter and 14kWhr Tesla Powerwall 2 battery.

The project is the result of a partnership between United Energy, Mornington Peninsula Shire and GreenSync to will deliver a safe and reliable power supply to the southern peninsula during peak times and ease the uptake of new renewable energy technologies.

The mayor Cr Bryan Payne officially cut the ribbon to open the technology showcase last week. He was joined by some of the 12 peninsula businesses which have signed on to join the project.

“With our drive to become a carbon neutral peninsula by 2021, the Community Grid Project is a great solution,” Cr Payne said.

“This is great news for the community centre and residents. It will help them save money on electricity in the long term and benefit their community.

“The shire supports GreenSync and the Community Grid Project as it works towards assisting the community respond to climate change.”

GreenSync COO Bruce Thompson said the centre would educate visitors about renewable energy technology and what they can do at home, while lowering their running costs.

“These centres are real hubs for the neighbourhood,” he said. “People are able to come and experience this new technology, see it in practical use and understand how they might apply it in their homes or businesses.”

The centre can store solar power for use when the sun isn’t shining or, at times of peak demand – such as a heatwave – send stored energy back to the grid to power a spike for, say, air conditioning.

United Energy’s Rodney Bray said the community grid would “allow the company to defer expensive upgrades to the network – such as a $30 million transmission line from Hastings to Rosebud – that would have catered for just a handful of peak days.

“This allows us to continue delivering affordable and reliable power to homes and businesses in the Mornington Peninsula region.”

Details: communitygridproject.com.au

First published in the Mornington News – 22 May 2018

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