20100320 VRA Bega goes solar

ce9f8d0d53As an orthopaedic surgeon I see the end result of a lot of road trauma. Busted bones and broken lives accompany road trauma all too often, accompanied by pain and despair. It is the volunteers of the Volunteer Rescue Association who are on the front line when it comes to dealing with the sorts of problems that most of us hope never to encounter. It is the volunteers of the VRA that save your life in the small hours of the morning, in the rain, when you are trapped in your car and desperate for help. What a selfless task to get out of bed at 3 o’clock in the morning to go to the scene of an accident to save someone’s life for no other reason than because it is the right thing to do.

What a delight it was to attend the launch of the solar panels on the roof of the Tarraganda VRA shed in Bega on 20/3/10, the first VRA unit in Australia to go solar. The launch was attended by the VRA crew, Andrew Constance, Pyramid Power and Clean Energy For Eternity. The solar panels will turn the VRA shed into a net producer of energy.

The installation is part of the solar bulk buy deal for SE NSW, a collaboration between various solar companies, the community, and Clean Energy For Eternity. As part of the bulk buy deal, 30 community groups will receive a free solar system, and already about half of those community panels have been installed.

Prior to the panels being installed, the VRA shed at Tarraganda had an electricity bill of several hundred dollars per quarter. That bill will be reduced to the extent that the unit will now receive a cheque from Country Energy at the end of each year for the electricity that they produce. Talk about turning the threat of climate change into an economic opportunity.

The average household’s electricity bill is about to increase by between $600-900 per year in NSW. There has never been a better time to put solar panels on your roof top. In fact the economic equation for solar panels looks so good that most households will be unable to afford not to do it.

The VRA Unit in Tarraganda needs more help. If you are interested in joining, and over 18 years of age, turn up at 6pm on any Thursday night at the Tarraganda shed on Tarraganda Lane to find out what it’s all about. If any other VRA units are interested in installing solar panels, please contact Clean Energy For Eternity through our web site

6/10/2009 9:21:00 AM Bega District News

BEGA’S Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA) has received a solar panel for its shed courtesy of Pyramid Power. Earlier this year the business held a “Shine On” bulk buy campaign where for every 30 systems purchased, Pyramid Power donated a system to a community building. VRA squad member Rod Roderick said they were lucky to receive the system.

“We are extremely happy to receive this and it just helps that little bit extra,” he said. “We were fortunate enough to receive enough nominations from citizens which was great. The aim for the squad is to reduce the power bill by feeding power back into the grid. I believe that we would be the first unit in NSW to receive one of these solar panels.

“Thanks to Pyramid Power for this and also to members of the community for thinking of us.”