Loch Sport Hall gets solar panels

LOCH Sport Community Hall has received a 4.4-kilowatt solar system thanks to the Gippy Bulk Buy Program, which will save the community $1400 a year on its energy bills.

The program was one of the first initiatives to be funded under the Latrobe Valley Community Power Hub Program, providing residents and businesses with high quality solar and hot water systems, using local installers.

Under the program, local residents buy solar PV and hot water systems through a bulk-buy scheme, cutting costs and ensuring the benefits of installing solar stays locally.

The Gippy Bulk Buy Program has already helped 42 households and four businesses install 326 kilowatts of solar power.

Those participating in the program will collectively save $128,000 a year on their energy bills and $3.2 million over the life span of the solar systems, while generating $100,000 of revenue for local installers.

A percentage of sales from the program were set aside to donate the solar PV system to the Loch Sport Community Hall.

Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the projects would help reduce energy bills and cut the costs of community sport and recreation locally.

“The community-owned and operated power hubs are driving investment into regional Victoria, creating jobs and producing cleaner, cheaper energy,” she said.

“We’re helping communities use their skills and expertise to develop renewable energy projects.”

The Latrobe Valley Community Power Hub Program was funded through the state government’s $900,000 Community Power Hub Project, which is being trialled for two years in Ballarat, Bendigo and the Latrobe Valley.

The project brings together local people to develop community-owned and operated renewable energy projects in regional areas.

It is part of the government’s plan to reach its target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.