Benalla Ensign

Solar switched on at Bernard Briggs kinder

- By Simon Ruppert To find out more visit bsfg.org.au

Federal Member for Indi Helen Haines was invited to officially switch on a new solar system at Bernard Briggs Kindergart­en on Friday, February 25.

The pre-school will see annual savings of $1500 per year thanks to the 6.6KW system, which was assisted by a grant from Winton solar Farm, and installed by local renewable supplier SolarGain — which also chipped in to the cost.

This is the second pre-school in Benalla to take advantage of the Renewable Energy Benalla (REB) community energy project — after Munro Ave Kindergart­en installed solar last year.

REB is a sub committee of the Benalla Sustainabl­e Future Group.

Dr Haines was joined at the event by Benalla Rural City councillor Danny Claridge, Mayor Bernie Hearn, Sarah Parry from Winton Solar Farm, Blake Smith representi­ng Solar Gain, and members of REB and BSFG.

“What a great thrill it is for me to be here today,” Dr Haines said.

“I would like to acknowledg­e Lisa (Mim), as the director of this

beautiful kindergart­en.

“And Benalla Sustainabl­e Future Group for your vision.

“I’d also really like to acknowledg­e Winton Solar farm... I was out there last week.

“So I could see the sun literally hitting the panels... being generated and going into the grid.

“I’ve got a big interest in the

transition to renewable energy because I know from working with all of you that the opportunit­ies for rural and regional Australia are enormous when it comes to lowering our emissions and transition­ing to this new future.

“Which is energy generated here, out in our paddocks through the wind and through the sun.

“I truly believe... this can be the next gold rush for regional Australia... if we get it right.

“What we're seeing today through the Benalla Sustainabl­e Futures Group is how you get it right.

“It’s how you make sure that everybody comes on the journey when it comes to transition­ing to a whole new power source.

“It’s about working with business, with energy generators, with organisati­ons such as kindergart­ens, low income housing, schools (and) public buildings to make sure that they can benefit from cheaper, cleaner power.

“And just hearing John (Lloyd from BSFG) telling us that there’s a $1500 (annual) saving straight away to this kindergart­en, and not withstandi­ng all the technicali­ties of the loan repayment, I’m going to bring it right down to a simple fact that that’s $1500 that gets spent on our kids.

“When we think about this across every one of our homes, and when we think about our families irrespecti­ve of their income.

“One of the biggest budget lines for any family is the power bill.

“So the more that we can do to make sure that every family has the opportunit­y to tap into cheap, clean, renewable energy, that’s money that doesn’t go off to Singapore or Saudi Arabia, or somewhere else because we’re generating it locally.”

BSFG and REB are continuing to support community based power initiative­s like this one. www.

 ?? ?? Solar Power: Members of Renewable Energy Benalla, the Benalla Sustainabl­e Future Group and representa­tives from Winton Solar Farm joined Bernard Briggs teachers and students, Dr Helen Haines, Cr Danny Claridge and Mayor Bernie Hearn at Bernard Briggs Kindergart­en last week.
Solar Power: Members of Renewable Energy Benalla, the Benalla Sustainabl­e Future Group and representa­tives from Winton Solar Farm joined Bernard Briggs teachers and students, Dr Helen Haines, Cr Danny Claridge and Mayor Bernie Hearn at Bernard Briggs Kindergart­en last week.

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