The largest community solar and battery program of its kind in Victoria was launched recently (30 April) at Colac’s Performing Arts Centre, supported by G21 – Geelong Region Alliance and its councils.
The purpose of the program is to fast-track renewable energy uptake in the region, to help Victoria achieve its renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2030, while giving homeowners and businesses access to clean, affordable energy from quality solar and battery systems.
Community group Geelong Sustainability selected Mondo and RACV Solar to deliver the Geelong Community Solar Program – a region-wide solar and battery offering for homeowners and businesses in Greater Geelong, Surf Coast, Colac Otway, Golden Plains and Queenscliffe municipalities.
The program is underpinned by significant investment and delivers value both for the buyer and funding directly back into the community. The G21 region covers some 370,000 people across 9,000 km2.
Participants can make money when they install a battery through the Geelong Community Solar Program – even if they have solar panels already. The Geelong+ Virtual Power Plant will connect a participant’s battery to others in the community to form a larger “virtual battery” that delivers renewable energy to both the home and the grid. The scheme will help stabilise electricity supply, support more renewable energy and reduce prices for everyone. It’s a 100 per cent opt-in program with no lock-in contract, so participants can sit back and enjoy more from their investment.
Both RACV Solar and Mondo are leaders in renewable technology and are working alongside not-for-profit Geelong Sustainability.
“Geelong Sustainability is proud to lead the region-wide Geelong Community Solar Program in partnership with a wide range of supporting organisations,” David Spear, Executive Officer, GreenLight said. GreenLight is Geelong Sustainability’s provider of sustainability services.
“It [the program] will engage people in our communities to take charge of their energy usage through education and implementing renewable energy in their homes and businesses,” Mr Spear said.
Andy McCarthy, CEO of RACV Solar said many Victorians were concerned about using energy in a sustainable and cost-effective way.
“RACV is investing strongly in renewable energy solutions to help build resilience across regional Victoria. We see this program as a commitment to help provide a cleaner, safer, more sustainable and affordable future for the local communities in the region, while supporting local jobs and the economy,” Mr McCarthy said.
Jodie Hallam, General Manager Energy Services, Mondo, agreed, saying the energy transition is being led by consumers.
“Their desire to contribute to a sustainable future and to reduce costs for their homes and businesses is driving demand for more sustainable, innovative and resilient energy systems. Mondo is here to help customers through this transition and create the decentralised energy system of the future. We are delighted that Geelong Sustainability selected us along with RACV Solar – consumers can be confident that together we will deliver the very best to the region,” Ms Hallam said.
Local communities are also set to benefit. For every system installed through the program, one solar panel will be donated to go towards an installation on a local community facility – up to five not-for-profit organisations will be selected by Geelong Sustainability to receive the donation in collaboration with local program partners.
You can find out more about the program here: geelongcommunitysolar.com.au