When the failure of old technology – electricity poles and wires downed by wild winds – left thousands of Victorians without power throughout the state’s south-east, for a lucky few, new technology came to the rescue.
Among these was Iresha Klinbail; the mother of a 12 week-old baby, whose solar and storage system kept her household running across the two-day outage, and who used Facebook to share her good fortune with others.
Most importantly, she used these technologies to offer the services of her still-running fridge and freezer to safely store the frozen breast milk of any other young mums in the Dandenongs region who were without power.
According to Selectronic, who made and supplied the Selby system’s SP PRO battery inverter, Iresha and her husband installed a solar and battery storage system on their home in Selby last year, to maximise self-generation.
The system can power their home from the energy stored in the battery bank when the electricity grid goes down – a capability that not all battery systems have.
The family experienced this benefit of solar and storage first hand last week, when tens of thousands of people were left without power in Victoria after a weekend of 100km/h winds.
As Iresha tells it, as soon as the power went down, members of the local Facebook group she is signed up to started posting and sharing information about the outages, and she realised she was in a unique position to help, by still having power.
“We figured we had the ability to help so it didn’t make sense to not offer. We’ve got a 12 week old and I’d be devastated if I lost expressed milk.”
At least one local mum took up her offer and Iresha was able to pick up the milk and store it for her.
Rod Scott, the CEO of Selectronic who lives nearby in Victoria, said the company was “thrilled” its SP PRO helped keep Iresha’s power running.
“Luckily we didn’t lose power at my home in Ferntree Gully this time, but there have been many occasions over the years when we’ve been the only home with lights on in our street,” he said.
“It’s also great to see local families supporting local manufacturers. There are hundreds of SP PROs installed throughout Melbourne and we know that at least they weren’t amongst the 22,000 without power over the past couple of days.”