20110504 Tathra RFS goes for solar

7107f84a28At the official opening of the new Tathra RFS shed on , the head of the South Coast RFS John Cullen announced CEFE’s intention to get all 200 Rural Fire Sheds in SE NSW set up with renewable energy by 2020.

It is hoped that money generated from solar panels installed on fire sheds will be donated towards b357d47256further installations. With recent changes to the NSW Feed-In-Tariff legislation, there is considerable uncertainty about the project, but one way or another CEFE will work with the RFS to achieve its goal.

6258006b9aJason Lewington, senior deputy captain with the Tathra Fire Brigade (left), and firefighter Max Cook, had a closer look at the recently installed solar panels on the Tathra fire shed. The 2kw system was paid for by the bulk-buy deal and the CEFE Big River Swims.

20131130 Green Shed Tathra goes solar

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Representatives from Clean Energy For Eternity, Tathra Mountain Bike Club and NGH Environmental, along with excited community members, celebrate the solar panel installation on Tathra?s Green Shed.

IT WAS a rare grey morning yesterday, but the sun is definitely shining on Tathra.

With solar panels now installed on the iconic ‘Green Shed’, the small seaside town can now lay claim to having every community building powered by the sun – all through the efforts of a region determined to make a difference.

Founder of Clean Energy For Eternity Matthew Nott celebrated the achievement yesterday with similarly elated members of the community.

“What this demonstrates is that Tathra is a community that wants to show leadership on climate change,” Dr Nott said yesterday.

“What we want to achieve is to show other regional towns that a community working together can achieve community-based solution to climate change. We want to inspire other communities and towns around Australia to get off their bums and do something.

“People can get frustrated with the politics of it all, so we are getting on with doing it. We’re not sitting around waiting for politicians to do it for us,” he said.

The campaign for a clean energy future began in Tathra in 2006 when more than 3000 people took part in a human sign spelling out Clean Energy For Eternity on the beach.

A year later, solar panels and a wind turbine were installed on the Tathra Surf Life Saving Club in the first of the organisation’s community projects.

Now due to a partnership between CEFE and the Tathra Mountain Bike Club, all eight community buildings in the town will benefit from both reduced power bills and the knowledge users will be doing their bit against climate change.

Along with the Green Shed, solar installations now adorn the surf club, Tathra Pre-school, Rural Fire Service shed, Tathra Hall, Uniting Church, Star of the Sea Catholic Church and St Martin By The Sea Anglican Church.

Funds for the installations have come predominantly through the major annual fundraiser the Tathra Enduro, hosted by the Tathra MTB Club.

Support from throughout the community has been ongoing, including at yesterday’s announcement.

“Pyramid Power has been great, doing all the installations for us,” Dr Nott said.

“NGH Environmental has been very supportive of the campaign right from the start as well.

“We’ve also had great support from Energy Options, who have been sponsors of the Enduro, as well as the Tathra caravan parks, Beach House Apartments and local businesses.”

Dr Nott said the cost of installing solar is becoming more affordable by the day.

The Tathra SLSC installation six years ago cost in the order of $20,000; the Green Shed’s less than $4000.

“We were hoping the overly generous feed-in tariffs on our first projects would help generate funds for further installations,” Dr Nott said.

“Now with no feed-in tariffs it reduces the benefits, but it also reduces the power bills for all these community groups for their daytime usage of the buildings.

“Solar is so cheap you can’t afford not to have it,” he said.

The next big project for Dr Nott and CEFE is a plan to build the biggest solar farm in the South-East – potentially the biggest community solar farm in the country.

More details will come to light if and when council approval is gained.

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.”