Bruny retirees love their solar power 


Bruny Island retirees Jenny Chester and John Kobylec were among the first to sign up for the innovative solar battery trial. They’ve become self-confessed “Reposit (battery management system) junkies.” Photo credits: Jonathan Jones

Retired public servant John Kobylec believed that installation of a solar system at his Bruny Island retirement home would be prohibitively expensive but after becoming inaugural participants in the Tasmanian island’s new solar/battery trial, John and his partner Jenny Chester are now total converts.
“We realised our scant information about solar systems was terribly out of date and the offer of a subsidy as part of the trial made it affordable for us to participate,” says John.
As retirees on a fixed income, lower power bills were very attractive to John and Jenny.  And in the 4 months they’ve been in the trial they’ve sold $180 worth of power to the grid.
The couple is very aware of the benefits to the Bruny Island community in providing clean power to the grid at peak periods, negating the need to use the diesel generator.
“We feel privileged to be part of trial that’s testing the technology of the future,” says John.
“I have to admit my knowledge of solar power was extremely limited and out-dated before being involved with the trial. The knowledge I have gained on solar and battery installations has been extremely helpful; people in the community are extremely interested in the trial and are constantly asking me questions about how it is going.”
John is secretary of the Bruny Bowls Club and, armed with the knowledge gained from participating in the trial, recently persuaded the club to install a 10kW solar system coupled to a 3-phase inverter that’s due to start operating soon.
John says the system is easy to use.
“We do nothing – the Reposit management software decides how to most efficiently operate the system for our benefit and we can log in anytime to view the data and predictions, which is very interesting and easy to understand.
“We have both become Reposit junkies and enjoy monitoring what our system is doing”.
John says TasNetworks has been extremely helpful during the trial setup process, promptly providing answers to questions. He has particular praise for a closed online forum that allows the trial participants to ask questions and share responses.
“I cannot speak highly enough of TasNetworks staff,” says John.  “I believe their contributions have and will continue to play an important part in the success of this trial.”
Article written by David Rose, who is the Communications Advisor at TasNetworks

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