Regional Vic health centre going solar via community funding model

Community renewables group Totally Renewable Yackandandah has teamed up with the local not-for-profit health services group to install a 90kW solar system on the town’s health centre, to cut bills, stabilise the supply of electricity and reduce carbon emissions.
Yackandandah Health announced the partnership this week, at the launch of a program incorporating dramatic reductions in their power demands and the installation of solar panels.
 
The deal will see Totally Renewable Yackandandah (TRY) – a community group aiming to switch Yackandandah to be 100% renewable by 2022 – assist Yackandandah Health to raise $60,000 for the  program, through its purpose built crowd sourcing vehicle, Perpetual Energy Fund, and a local fund raising program.
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The loan will be repaid to TRY – payback of the initial cost of the solar is calculated to take only five years – using savings in electricity bills. The repaid funds will then be reinvested in TRY’s Perpetual Energy Fund to be used for other community energy projects around Yackandandah.
Yackandandah Health Service chief executive, Annette Nuck said solar was a good fit for the organisation, which used power consistently and predictably.
“We looked at the finances for the efficiency and generation plan and it made strong economic sense for our community owned, not-for-profit organisation,” she said in a statement on Wednesday.
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“It has been relatively easy to map savings and to determine the optimal photovoltaic installation capacity.
“The solar installation is part of a broader program at Yackandandah Health where we are looking at making our organisation more environmentally aware and lessening our footprint. We are considering all activities on-site with the aim to decrease waste and our impact on the environment and hope others follow our lead,” she said.
 
Community initiatives in Yackandandah already include solar PV installations at the council office and depot, the local primary school and kindergarten, the community-owned petrol station, the community centre, museum (above) and the newly built stand-alone power supply on the local Men’s Shed.

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