Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio spoke about the benefits of community-owned solar. tm06_1919

THE Energy Innovation Co-op (EI Co-op) were the brains behind the Wonthaggi State Coal Mine’s solar and battery project that was turned on last Friday by the co-op’s Susan Davies, Bass MP Jordan Crugnale and Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio.
The project took volunteer group EI Co-op over two years and has been possible due to the hard work, varied areas of expertise from members and help from local and state governments.
EI Co-op chair Moragh Mackay thanked everyone involved and was proud that their project could highlight the town’s transition from old energy coal to new energy solar.
“The idea that grew here is a fine example of what can be done when a community puts their minds together and works to reduce climate change,” she said.
“The human energy is something that we really need to appreciate, and without the help of Bass Coast Shire and the State Government, this project wouldn’t have been completed to the standard and size we see today.”
This renewable energy upgrade was made possible with a funding boost of over $241,000 from the State Government’s New Energy Jobs fund.
Ms D’Ambrosio found the project to be a great foundational initiative, something she hopes will become more common.
“It’s great to see a facility that was once used to mine coal now leading the way when it comes to renewable energy in tourism,” she said.
“We want to see more sites like this one transition to renewables – we’re delivering the investment needed to support that transition.”
Bass MP Jordan Crugnale was impressed by the dedication shown by the local group.
“It’s nice to know the mine is doing its bit to lead the rest of Victoria. Bass is doing its bit to bring down emissions and tackle climate change.”
The project will now provide the mine’s electricity with excess being sold into the grid. The money raised from the excess electricity will be used to fund similar community projects.