Solar switched on at Bernard Briggs kinder
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
“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.