Regional parts of Australia are susceptible to bushfire and storm and are thus susceptible to power outages. For many that means lighting a candle, but for the Malmsbury Fire Brigade, that means having to be extra vigilant that said candles don’t become any larger, especially considering the likelihood that they’ve already got bushfires to deal with.
However, outages are now much less of a concern for the Malmsbury Fire Station itself, thanks to a 13.5 kW Tesla Powerwall 2 storing the energy generated from a 10.48 kW solar installation. The Powerwall 2, which costs $30,000, was funded with $5,000 of brigade donations and the rest via a grant from Bank Australia and the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance’s Community Solar Bulk Buy program.
“The battery ensures we can operate and respond from the fire station during a power outage and it can also be a hub for the community at the same time,” said Malmsbury Fire Brigade Captain Tony Stephens.
That the fire station is now virtually invulnerable to power outages, Stephens is happy to note that at times of outage and crisis, “affected community members can use it for communication, storage of medicines, food refrigeration and internet in extreme circumstances.”
“We see the results of climate change through more intense and frequent storms and fires,” continued Stephens, “so being able to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce emissions is important or our members and our community.”