Free Solar Up For Grabs In Macedon Ranges

Free solar power system

Community groups in Victoria’s  Macedon Ranges have been invited to submit an application for a free, fully installed 5kW solar power system.

The free system is being offered as a result of a collaboration between MASH solar bulk-buy organiser, Castlemaine’s Hub Foundation, and Energy Matters’ parent company; which supplied systems for the MASH2 program.

“This donation marks the successful installation of over 100 systems in Macedon Ranges resulting from MASH2, the second round of our hugely successful solar bulk-buy program,” said Jo Kaptein, Project Officer at the Hub Foundation.

According to Energy Matters, a 5kW solar power system installed in Victoria can provide a financial benefit of up to $1,750 a year; depending on installation location and electricity consumption profile. It’s a significant amount that a community group could redirect to its core activities.

Last month, the Hub Foundation also announced two free systems were installed on homes tenanted through Castlemaine’s social and transitional housing scheme.

The MASH initiatives haven’t just supplied free systems and helped hundreds of households in the Mount Alexander and Macedon Ranges shires take more control over their energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint. As local installers are utilised as another way of supporting the local community, six new full-time jobs were created as a result of MASH2

To date, more than 460 homes in Mount Alexander Shire and Macedon Ranges have gone solar via the Hub Foundation’s MASH programs. The Foundation says this uptake has resulted in electricity bill savings for residents of over $360,000 per year and around 2,500 tonnes of avoided carbon emissions.

While the MASH2 solar bulk-buy program closed in February, MASH3 will be launched soon; offering solar panel systems incorporating battery storage.

“We are looking forward to delivering yet more free community solar installations for the people of Macedon Ranges with our next round of the MASH project, MASH3, which will launch in mid 2016,” said Ms. Kaptein.

Macedon Ranges Shire and Mount Alexander Shire are situated in Central Victoria. Major population centers of the regions include Castlemaine, Gisborne, Kyneton, Romsey and Woodend.