Solar panels are in place

Half of the panels installed on the roof of the Bucketts Way Neighbourhood Group building on King Street in Gloucester. Photo David Marston
Half of the panels installed on the roof of the Bucketts Way Neighbourhood Group building on King Street in Gloucester. Photo David Marston

Very soon the Bucketts Way Neighbourhood Group (BWNG) will be generating its own electricity.

Energise Gloucester (EG) is providing a 30kW solar photovoltaic system for the roof and it was installed last week.

BWNG chief executive officer Anna Burley said it was fantastic Energise Gloucester was able to organise the solar roof project.

“This will greatly help us to meet community needs by reducing the payments for electricity,” she said.

Energise Gloucester is a community energy organisation that has commissioned the system and raised the funds for it to be installed with the final design, supply and installation done by Australia Wide Solar.

Members of the Gloucester have lent $32,000 to EG for the system and Powershop has donated $10,000 from its Community Energy Fund. Powershop is an electricity retailer that operates an electricity retail package that has a 6.6c/kWh premium included. When their customers purchase this product all of the premium amounts are pooled by Powershop and distributed to projects that they are supporting in Australia, such as Energise Gloucester.

Without the very generous support of these community lenders and the Powershop grant, Energise Gloucester would not be able to help the BWNG reduce its electricity costs. In three years the group will save at least $11,000 in electricity bills.

Energise Gloucester chair David Marston said he was proud of the way the community has lent money to enable the solar project to proceed.

“We hope that similar support will be available for other alternative energy project in the Gloucester district,” he said.

The 120 solar panels cover a large portion of the roof and half are facing east and half west. This means that electricity is generated whenever the sun is shining, and its free. There is also a benefit from the shading of the roof and reducing the building temperature.

Energise Gloucester will be having a public celebration in a couple of months and also announcing other projects. Information about Energise Gloucester is available on Facebook.