Info Sessions – New Community Solar Bulk-Buy For Hepburn Shire

Come along to one of the Solar & Z-NET Info Nights being held across the shire. The Solar & Z-NET Info Nights are a great opportunity to learn more about The Hepburn Solar Bulk-Buy and the Z-NET Community Transition Pilot. These two projects will help the Hepburn Shire transition to 100% renewables and the ultimate goal of zero-net emissions.

Click on the link to book your place https://hepburnsolar.eventbrite.com/

Supported by Hepburn Shire Council and Hepburn Wind, this bulk-buy is part of the Shire’s Z-NET initiative to become 100% carbon-neutral by 2025.

The organising team is from MASH (More Australian Solar Homes), the not-for-profit community solar bulk-buy that originated in Castlemaine and has since spread across central Victoria with almost 900 solar rooftops on homes, businesses and schools.

“Making the decision to invest solar or home batteries can be confusing as there are so many options”, says Jo Kaptein, Executive Officer at The Hub Foundation, the not-for-profit organisation behind the MASH bulk-buy.  The Hepburn Solar Bulk-Buy aims to cuts through that complexity to make it easier for households and businesses to go solar – with an option they can trust.

“We’ve gone out to public tender to find the best possible solar supplier, with high quality solar and home battery systems at competitive prices backed by industry-leading warranties.  We’ll be providing an overview of the bulk-buy and the systems on offer – and answering residents’ questions – at info meetings and events throughout the Shire.  People will also be able to call us for general information about the bulk-buy on our community phone number, if they have any questions before registering for a quote with our supplier.

“Hepburn Shire Council is pleased to be a partner of the Hepburn Solar Bulk-Buy program.  We are confident that the not-for-profit organisation behind the bulk-buy – The Hub Foundation – has done its homework thoroughly by going through a full public tender process to find the best possible solar suppliers with the best possible solar and battery systems.  We believe that this bulk-buy provides households and businesses in the Shire with high quality solar and battery systems that represent good value for money.  There’s also a win/win for the community, with up to $20,000 in free solar for community groups should the bulk-buy achieve its target of 200 new solar rooftops in Hepburn Shire.  We know that the bulk-buy will support local jobs.  Any CEC Accredited local installers in the Shire are urged to get in touch with The Hub Foundation if they would like to be involved as a sub-contractor carrying out installations for this bulk-buy program.” – Mayor, Cr John Cottrell.

“Currently, 19 percent of homes in Hepburn Shire have solar PV”, said Jo Kaptein. “Our aim is to increase this to 22 percent with another 200 solar rooftops installed by the end of December 2018.  If we achieve this goal, we’ll also be able to donate $20,000 in free solar to community groups – as well as cut CO2 emissions by 1,100 tonnes annually, equal to 230 fewer cars on the road each year.

“We’re thrilled to have been invited by Hepburn Shire Council and Hepburn Wind to bring our model of a community solar bulk-buy to the households and businesses in the Hepburn Shire”, said Jo Kaptein.

“We are proud to partner with MASH to grow residential solar in 2018”, said Taryn Lane, Manager, Hepburn Wind.  “For our Shire to reach zero-net energy in the next couple of years we need as many households as possible to go solar. 19% of homes have already switched to solar and we hope that through this partnership we will become one of the leading Shires in 2018.”

The solar supplier for the Hepburn Solar Bulk-Buy selected through public tender is Energy Matters, a Clean Energy Council Accredited Solar Retailer.  Local CEC Accredited Solar Installers in the Hepburn Shire and surrounding areas who would like to install systems for this bulk-buy working under contract to Energy Matters are encouraged to get in touch with the Energy Matters team via Jo Kaptein on info@hubfoundation.org.au

The Hepburn Solar Bulk-Buy will offer grid-connect solar PV systems and the Tesla Powerwall 2 grid-connect battery storage system.  Household systems start in size from 2kW, with 5kW being the most commonly installed system at the moment under the MASH project.  Larger solar PV systems – up to 99kW in size – for businesses, schools and other organisations are also available through the bulk-buy.

The MASH team would like to acknowledge the support of Hepburn Shire Council, Hepburn Wind and Zero-Net Hepburn Shire as partners for this bulk-buy. Also, we are pleased to have SHARE, Trentham Sustainability Group, Transition Creswick, Clunes Sustainability Group and Powershop as supporters.

For more information and to register for the bulk-buy launch email, visit www.mash.org.au/hepburn  or call the MASH team on 1300 466 274.