A central Victorian bulk-buy community solar scheme is set to launch to a new market in the state’s Macedon Ranges region, after achieving huge success in the nearby shire of Mount Alexander.
As we reported here in July, the scheme, known as MASH – which gives locals access to quality approved rooftop solar at a bulk-buy price – has been a hit in Mount Alexander, leading to more than 300 households in the shire installing solar panels over the past year.
After a first round offer that led to the installation of 225 solar systems, the team coordinating the initiative – Castlemaine not-for-profit, Hub Foundation – launched a second-round offer in June.
As in the first round, MASH2 offered the extra incentive to participants of two free solar systems for a community organisation after 100 systems had gone on rooftops. And, like the first round, it was a huge success, attracting 150 registrations in just 29 days.
Collectively, those systems are now reportedly saving their owners around $200,000 on electricity bills annually and will avoid more than 1,500 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
Jo Kaptein, Project Officer at the Hub Foundation, says 18 per cent of homes in Macedon Ranges have installed solar PV so far, and they hope to increase this to close to 20 per cent in the next 6 months through the MASH2 initiative.
Macedon Ranges Mayor, Jennifer Anderson, is confident the scheme will get strong support.
“MASH2 is a sure winner for residents of Macedon Ranges; providing savings on energy bills, returns to the community, and a reduction in greenhouse emissions”, she said.
“Given its success in neighbouring Mount Alexander Shire, I encourage residents to participate.”
Solar power systems under the MASH2 initiative will be supplied by Energy Matters’ parent company, SunEdison.
Again, as added incentive, a free 2kW solar panel system will be installed on a community building in Kyneton once 50 installations have been completed.