Renewable Energy Benalla (REB)
REB had a meeting in early July to try to identify potential community organisations which might benefit from solar installations with similar loan/repayment schemes to that already in place for the 2 kindergartens.
Benalla Men’s Shed was one possible organisation, so a meeting was held on Wednesday 27th July at the Men’s Shed, in order to try to ascertain their power usage (and pattern of power usage) and determine the feasibility of a project there.
The reality is that they operate 3 days per week with not a large amount of power consumption (there is no heating/cooling or hot water system in the building), so the payback period for the loan based on quarterly savings would be far too long to make this a feasible project for us under our current donation-based model for the rotating fund. They also have issues to sort out related to the metering of power on the site in Waller St, as the Lions and Rotary Clubs also have sheds there (both with very minimal power usage).
We may need to broaden our enquiries to look at commercial enterprises, but that has some potential risks around the long-term viability of a business.
Peter Maddock has come across an investigative tool called "Sunulator" which evaluates power use in relation to solar system size and can assess the appropriate size for the situation under consideration. The ATA has developed the Sunulator, and it has been used by the Geelong Sustainability Group to coordinate community renewable energy projects in Geelong (eg 149 kW solar installation at the Multicultural Aged Care building).
Interestingly, GSG uses a community solar investment model.