20091206 Pambula surf club goes solar

3dde808a75Harnessing energy from the sun is paying dividends for Pambula Surf Life Saving Club with their newly installed rooftop solar system saving valuable funds whenever the sun is shining.

Federal Government funding under the Solar Homes and Communities Plan totaling $13,400; community sponsorship from South East Fibre Exports, Eden, of $6,600; and an additional $6,600 from Bega Valley Shire Council in the 2009/2010 budget, has covered the solar power system; installed by Pyramid Power late last December.

“We had little idea of what to expect with the system, but are very impressed following our first quarter of operation with the system producing just over 800Kw hours of electricity”, club president Donald Hay explained.

“The 2Kw solar power system produces enough energy to power the building whenever the sun is shining, with a little over to go back into the grid.

“Considering the building is drawing power to run fridges, freezers, security lighting, extraction fans and alarm systems through the day with the addition of any lights that go on when the building is occupied; we are saving a lot of money by having this system”.

Pambula SLSC is one of 330 life saving clubs in Australia being encouraged to utilise renewable energy through the “Life Saving Energy” program, originally conceived by local group, Clean Energy For Eternity. In this shire, the group organised the Council to fund 50% of systems for clubs at Pambula, Tathra and Bermagui, with the remaining funds being raised through community fundraising, or in our case, business sponsorship.

“Pambula had the option of installing 1Kw of solar panels and another 1Kw wind turbine system; however we chose to double the solar panels giving us 2Kw of solar generating potential.

“We are fortunate that the Federal Government, South East Fibre Exports and Bega Valley Shire Council have backed this particular installation system which equates to cutting our energy bill by more than a quarter; as well as being great for the environment”.

The solar power system is just one of many energy saving principles incorporated in the new life saving club at Pambula Beach.

“The club has three Quantum hot water systems which use the heat pump principle generating hot water from atmospheric pressure. This system reduces our electricity consumption by a third over conventional electric systems.

“All lighting, wherever possible, incorporates energy saving globes and low voltage equipment; our showers are all on timers to reduce water consumption, and the exhaust fan and lighting systems in the toilet areas are all linked to movement activated switches on timers to reduce the likelihood of leaving lights on.

“We have plans to place large underground tanks to harness rainwater that would normally end up in the ocean for use in toilets and for irrigation and washing rescue equipment.

“In the future, the club will look at expanding our solar power generating potential, especially if additional government and community funding become available for such projects. There is certainly a lot more room on the roof to harness renewable energy”, Donald concluded.

Don Hay

Pambula surf club captain