Victorian council to pass solar system’s savings on to community group


The council in Mildura, in Victoria’s northwest, has secured a $95,000 grant from Sustainability Victoria’s Community Power Hubs program to install a solar PV system at the Mildura South Regional Sporting Precinct, which is currently under construction.

Details about the system are still being determined, but a spokesperson for the Mildura Rural City Council told pv magazine Australia the system will have up to 99 kW of capacity.

Interestingly, half of all the savings stemming from the solar system, including those from modelled operational costs as well as profits from solar exports, will be provided to the local community group, Sunraysia Sustainability Network, for the next 10 years.

Mildura Rural City Council, which owns and will shortly operate the major sporting precinct, has had a long association with the group, which was described as a driving force for education around sustainability in the local community.

As part of the agreement, Sunraysia Sustainability Network will receive, in the form of a grant, 50% of the savings made by the system on the anniversary of its installation. This money, the group’s president Krister Jonsson said, will enable it to “continue raising awareness about sustainable living in our community through the Mildura Eco Village”.

The Mildura Eco Village is situated next to the Mildura Landfill and has been transformed by the network into a hub of environmental education and sustainable living for the community.

Councillor for Environment and Sustainability Jodi Reynold described the local council’s solar system plans as a win for the community.

“It will shave thousands of dollars from the precinct’s energy costs, it will further reduce our electricity demand from the grid, and best of all, it will help the hard-working members of the Sunraysia Sustainability Network continue their important work for the next 10 years.”

Construction of Stage 1 of the Mildura South Regional Sporting Precinct, which includes a stadium, sporting oval and stages, began in 2019 and is expected to be completed by mid-2021. Funding for Stage 2 of construction has been secured.

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