News | 24th Nov, 2012

Group shines a light on solar

24 November 2012
James Taylor, Surf Coast Times

The Surf Coast Energy Group has an ambitious plan to bring solar power to the community.

New president John Roker said a sub-committee had been formed to investigate the possibilities and cost of a renewable energy project. The proposal was one of several ideas floated at SCEG’s meeting last week at the Torquay Senior Citizens Centre.

The subcommittee initially looked at establishing a community-owned wind farm, similar to the one in Hepburn Springs. Its options now include a large-scale greenfields site, or a “behind the meter” system in which electricity generated by the solar panels is sold directly to one business.

Mr Roker said the plan “would all come down to cost” but he was interested in the possibilities.

“Personally, I’d like to see a community swimming pool with solar panels on the roof.”

He said he hoped SCEG could become a major, non-political influence in the community on all matters relating to pollution and sustainability.

Environment Victoria community campaigner Mick Power also spoke at the meeting. Mr Power said the advocacy group was reaching out to small organisations across the state to help put the environment back on the state government’s agenda.

“We’ve been astonished at the state of environmental destruction. What’s shocked us is the amount of bad decisions and their pace.”

He said examples included the renewal of the lease for Alcoa’s coal-fired Anglesea plant for 50 years, changes to the wind farm industry and the halving of the solar feed-in tariff.

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