Bowls club breaks new solar ground

News - Pakenham Officer_20160714_P1.jpg

A Pakenham sports club has become one of the first sites in the country to have the latest technology in solar batteries installed at its facilities.

Pakenham Bowls Club has had the foresight to install a ‘super’ solar battery pack to save on energy expenses in the long-term.

The $34,000 battery pack was funded evenly between the bowls club’s fund-raising kitty and a Cardinia Shire Council’s community capital works grant.

President Terry McRedmond said the club has had an environmental mindset for some time.

For the past eight years the club has collected and stored water used to water its grounds and pumps water into clubrooms for toilet usage.

The club also installed 60 solar panels in September last year, but on sunny days were found to generate more power than could be used.

“We had been paying $1200 a month for electricity and since having the solar panels installed, it’s cut our bill in half,” Mr McRedmond said.

“The idea was to get a battery unit that would store excess power and is believed to be able to keep the club self-sufficient for at least seven months of the year.”

The battery pack was installed on Monday 11 July with mayor Jodie Owen doing the honours of flicking on the power switch.

Cardinia Shire environment officer Brett Munckton said it was the first council building in the shire to make the switch to battery and solar power.

“It’s a lithium-ion next-generation battery that’s highly efficient, much safer and lasts longer. It’s also a lot more compact,” Mr Munckton said.

“It provides about 10 kilowatts of energy to the site. It stops feeding excess energy and instead stores it for other use.

“Council is keen to learn from this project to see how this technology can be used at other sites to benefit the community.”

Originally published at Pakenham Gazette.

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About Alana Mitchelson

Alana Mitchelson is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @AlanaMitchelson.

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