The Hepburn Recreation Reserve – which is both a community sports facility and dedicated place of last resort in the event of a bushfire – now has full protection from power outages thanks to a new 76 panel solar-plus-battery storage system.
$32,000 system fully grant funded
The 25.08kW solar system, with Tesla Powerwall 2 battery, was fully funded by Hepburn Shire Council, Hepburn Wind, the Hepburn Solar Bulk-Buy through the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance and a grant from Bank Australia. The total system cost was $31,818 excluding GST. The contribution from funding partners was Hepburn Shire Council $12,000; Hepburn Wind $4,500; Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance $15,318 with $12,500 of that amount from a Bank Australia grant and $2,818 from the Hepburn Solar Bulk-Buy.
Increases capacity to respond to threat of bushfires
“This system increases the resilience of the Hepburn community and capacity to plan for and respond to the threat of bushfires”, said Cr Licia Kokocinski, Mayor of the Hepburn Shire Council. “In recent bushfire seasons, Hepburn and the wider state have been hit hard by the fires.”
“During emergency events it is common for the electricity grid to go down, making it harder for designated Neighbourhood Safer Places, like the Hepburn Recreation Reserve, to maintain basic support services,” said Rob Law, Executive Officer at the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance. “This solar and battery system is designed to operate if the grid goes down which will enable the Hepburn Recreation Reserve’s to maintain critical functions during an emergency. The solar-battery system at the Hepburn Recreation Reserve will provide at least one day of power autonomy; more if weather conditions allow as the Tesla Powerwall and solar power system can continue to work independently for any duration if the grid goes down.”
“A great result for the Hepburn community”
“This is another great result for the Hepburn community,” said Jason Dooley, President, Hepburn Football and Netball Club. “Not only will the new system provide power in a blackout but will also reduce power costs to our community organisation and reduce the green footprint of the facility. Our many thanks go to all of the involved parties and funding partners,” said Jason.
“After the Hepburn fires it is important that this community asset is comfortable and a refuge during fire events, as well as ensuring the sporting teams and other community groups that use the site have a constant supply of clean energy,” said Taryn Lane, Manager, Hepburn Wind.
“We’re really proud to help fund this project through our Impact Fund, demonstrating what’s possible for the future of our communities,” said Jarrod Troutbeck, Senior Sustainability Consultant at Bank Australia.
The solar and battery system was designed and installed by Specialized Solar, a Clean Energy Accredited Solar Retailer and supplier to the bulk-buy programs organised by the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance.
About power usage at the Hepburn Recreation Reserve
Hepburn Recreation Reserve has an average daily electricity usage of 61 kilowatt hours throughout the year. It is a 3-phase site. Power usage is much higher in winter than in summer. Summer power usage is 61 kilowatt hours per day on average.
- Solar PV: 25.08kw (76 x 330w Seraphim solar panels and 1 x Fronius SYMO 20kw inverter)
- Solar PV generates on average: 88 kilowatt hours per day.
- Batteries: 1 x Tesla Powerwall 2 with back up Gateway (usable storage 13.5kwh)
- Tesla Monitoring: back to base monitoring of system’s generation, export, self-consumption and battery levels.
- In the summer period this Solar PV and Battery solution will be able to take care of the usage (61kwh per day average) but in the wintertime it is estimated to take care of one-third of the requirements.
- This site is 3-phase so the Tesla Powerwall 2 is only able to back up one of the three phases in the case of a black-out. The system supplier and installer Specialized Solar have, in consultation with the client, designed the system so that it back-ups the light and power load of one phase which will provide the site for at least 1 day of autonomy.
- There is the option to add a generator in future if required, and increase the size of the solar and battery system.
Hepburn Recreation Reserve – role during a bushfire
The Hepburn Recreation Reserve is a dedicated Place of Last Resort or Neighbourhood Safer Place (NSP). It is a place of last resort during the passage of bushfire, and is intended to be used by persons whose primary bushfire plans have failed. NSPs are places of relative safety only and they do not guarantee the survival of those who assemble there. Furthermore, there may be serious risks to safety encountered in travelling and seeking access to NSPs during bushfire events. Depending on the direction of a particular fire, it may not be a safer place to assemble than other places within the municipal district.