Sun power: BREAZE treasurer Peter Reid, BREAZE president Mary Debrett, Pinarc CEO Marianne Hubbard, Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle and Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison at Pinarc’s Bonshaw location. Photo: RUBY STALEY

Solar savings for organisations doing good

October 15, 2020 BY

THANKS to the latest round of the State Government’s renewable energy grants, two Ballarat community organisations will soon be reaping the rewards of solar power.

Representatives from community organisations BREAZE and Pinarc were joined by Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle and Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison to announce two new Ballarat-based projects to share in more than $123,000 as part of the New Energy Jobs Fund.

Mary Debrett president of BREAZE said they are delighted that a not-for-profit organisation doing great community work like Pinarc, will benefit from solar power.

“We’ve received approximately $100,000 and we’ll chip in some money and Pinarc are chipping in some money to put 68 kilowatts of solar onto the roofs at Pinarc’s sites,” she said.

“This is a part of our social solar program … we have been raising funds through donations and applying for grants to put solar onto the roofs of not-for-profits.

“It’s a win, win for the community, there’s a cost saving component for these community organisations, also cutting emissions and offering local jobs as well.”

Set to receive solar panelling at its four Ballarat locations, Pinarc works to empower and help over 1000 children and adults with disability.

Pinarc’s CEO Marianne Hubbard said the project will not only save money but assist their entire suite of offerings.

“There’s no way that we would have been able to afford to do something like this so we’re very excited,” she said.

“It’s been on our radar to incorporate solar power for a long time so when BREAZE offered to partner with us I did not hesitate for a second.

“Reduced cost of energy consumption means we can divert those funds directly into programs that support people with disabilities.”

In addition to Pinarc’s solar panel installations, funding for solar panels at the Prince of Wales Park operated by Hockey Ballarat was also supplied by the Victorian Government.

Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison said this funding is a smart investment because of its triple benefit of saving the environment, community organisation cost reduction and job creation in the region.

“Every cent a community organisation like Pinarc saves who supports children and adults with disabilities goes straight back into the services they offer,” she said.

Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle added, “It’s around empowering the communities and somewhere like Pinarc and Hockey Ballarat, the difference it will make to their cash flow, having to pay bills, is enormous.”