Solar power for hills pavilion


Community sporting clubs in the hills will save on energy, while having a resilient community hub in emergencies, thanks to a partnership with the Australian and State Governments.

Council has installed a solar power system on the roof of the Olinda Recreation Reserve Pavilion, using funding from the Australian Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program and the State Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund.

The Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) Program supports local councils to deliver priority local road and community infrastructure projects across the nation, supporting jobs and delivering benefits to local communities.

The 44kW array will be combined with a 95kWh battery, which will provide up to one week of off-grid energy storage for the building.

Yarra Ranges Mayor, Jim Child, said the system will give local clubs continuity in a power outage, and provide the community with a safe hub if disaster strikes.

“The 2021 storms showed us that a large-scale storm can massively disrupt utilities for locals, for significant periods of time,” Cr Child said.

“This project will mean that if the worst happens again, and we’re staring down the barrel of a long-term outage, there’ll be a place to go.

“Every day, this system will be generating and storing power to keep running costs down at the pavilion, meaning our local clubs can invest their funds in their teams, instead of on utility bills.

“This is the latest project where our Government counterparts have provided funding for solar and battery systems, with others installed in Healesville, Yarra Glen, Yarra Junction, Coldstream, Warburton, Mooroolbark and Lilydale. The end result is lower running costs, local hubs that can be activated in an emergency, and our community living a bit lighter on the earth.

“I’d like to thank the Australian and State Governments for this crucial funding, the local tradies who installed this system and our clubs for their patience and support as works get underway shortly.”

The installation works have provided a generator plug-in for the pavilion, which will enable a diversification of energy supply and extend off-grid operations in the event of an emergency.

This project aligns with Council’s Liveable Climate Plan, which outlines how Council will reach net zero emissions by 2040, with 100 per cent renewable energy used by 2030.

Federal Member for Casey, Aaron Violi MP said the solar and battery setup at Olinda is a huge win for our region.

“Where we live, it is vital to be prepared for the worst,” he said.

“The Australian Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program supports councils to deliver priority community infrastructure, and I am proud to see this funding used for local emergency preparedness,” he said.

“This Australian Goverment funding will provide the hills community with a safety net in the event of disaster, while also reducing running costs for local sporting clubs.”

/Public Release. View in full here.