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Bass Coast Shire Council to make all-electric refuge by joining Neighbourhood Batteries Program and Risk and Resilience Program

Grant programs for climate resilience, installing neighbourhood batteries with Mondo on Phillip Island and establishing all-electric refuge centres funded by Emergency Management Victoria to bolster community resilience during emergencies.

By news@gippsland - 15th March 2024 - Back to News

Bass Coast Shire Council is delighted to announce its participation in two exciting grant programs aimed at enhancing community resilience to climate change, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and strengthening energy reliability.

Totally Renewable Phillip Island seeks 100 households for a 12-month trial sharing locally produced renewable energy via a neighbourhood battery toward 100% renewable energy by 2030

Totally Renewable Phillip Island seeks 100 households for a 12-month trial sharing locally produced renewable energy via a neighbourhood battery toward 100% renewable energy by 2030

Community energy initiatives

100 Neighbourhood Batteries Program

The Victorian government's 100 Neighbourhood Batteries program provides grants to support the installation of 100 neighbourhood-scale batteries across Victoria to improve energy reliability and provide energy storage capacity for locally generated solar power, which is expected to increase access to renewable energy and help lower energy bills.

Mondo, a subsidiary of AusNet, is spearheading a project to install up to seven 250kWh batteries across Phillip Island that will protect network reliability. Up to five of the batteries will be installed on council-owned land, with commercial land access arrangements to be negotiated under council's Lease & Licensing Policy. Sites that have been identified for the batteries include Berninneit and the Phillip Island Leisure Centre.

Dividends from the sale of some electricity from the batteries will be shared with the community through a community benefit fund, overseen by council, in partnership with community organisations.

Risk and Resilience Program

Separately, council has secured $145,000 in funding from Emergency Management Victoria to provide high-risk communities in Bass Coast with fit-for-purpose all-electric refuge centres. Through the funding, council will equip existing community facilities with solar and battery systems that will provide a continuous supply of power during extreme weather events and power outages. This investment in climate resilience infrastructure will also be supported by local community engagement to help communities further prepare for emergencies.

As the most recent storms and power outage across Gippsland demonstrated, dedicated neighbourhood hubs where residents can access power, communications, food, water, and other services are essential to support community disaster resilience. During the most recent event, Corinella & District Community Centre served as a beacon for the community during this time, supported by its rooftop solar and Tesla Powerwall battery system.

This funding from Emergency Management Victoria will be supported by a further $120,000 in council funding, enabling multiple sites to be equipped with the critical solar and battery infrastructure needed to serve as beacons for the community when the electricity grid goes down.

Community applauds initiatives

Mayor, Cr Clare Le Serve said, "We are thrilled to have this neighbourhood battery investment from Mondo and the state government on Phillip Island as well as this grant funding from Emergency Management Victoria. We welcome all initiatives that help us to lead the way in reducing carbon emissions and enhancing our community's resilience to climate change. We are very proud of our community continually leading the way in building a sustainable and greener future,"

"We extend our thanks to Totally Renewable Phillip Island and other community organisations and individuals who have continued to advocate towards our shared vision for a municipality that can operate on zero emissions."

"Council is in discussions with Mondo about further proposed locations for these neighbourhood batteries. The precise locations remain subject to detailed assessment and land access arrangements subject to council's Lease & Licencing Policy. As grid-connected systems, the batteries are designed to provide long-term improvements in network reliability and create opportunities for more rooftop solar installations in their vicinity, helping the community to meet its renewable energy aspirations," the Mayor said. For media enquiries, please contact Laura A'Bell on 0412 048 708

Pictures from Totally Renewable Phillip Island Facebook page.


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