Solar Industry Unites to Power Geelong Women’s Rehab Facility

AI Artist’s impression: safety harnesses not illustrated.

In a collaboration marrying renewable energy with social good, several clean energy companies have teamed up to gift a 30kW solar power system to a soon-to-open women’s rehab facility in Geelong

Kudos all around: solar installer Vortex Electrical, microinverter maker Enphase, solar panel manufacturer REC and solar racking company, RRacks (Red Dot Rack) have together donated the hefty solar power system installation. They clearly haven’t cut corners or hardware costs with the donated system, with the solar panel, inverters and racking brands representing high-end solar hardware that should keep the facility’s electricity bills down for decades to come.

REC achieved recognition in this year’s SolarQuotes Installer’s Choice Awards for both “Best Solar Panel In 2023” and “Best Support” categories, reflecting a consistent focus on quality over the last 25 years. Enphase won silver in the same survey, in the “Best Solar Inverter 2023” category.

Geelong-based Vortex Electrical Pty Ltd specialises in solar and battery storage solutions, extending its services to surrounding areas including the Surf Coast, Bellarine Peninsula, and the Otways.  Vortex Electrical customer feedback on SolarQuotes to date, while limited, has seen the company achieving an average score of 4.8 out of 5; with a perfect 5 for installation, and customer service.

In a project coordinated by Australian Women in Solar Energy (AWISE), the companies collaborated to provided the 30kW, 85-panel system that should cut $1,000 a month from the electricity bills of the House of Hope residential facility.

Image: Foundation61

House of Hope is a fully electrical site, making electricity costs an important consideration.

The 8-bed residential rehabilitation facility set on two acres on the outskirts of Geelong  is expected to be ready to offer services early next year, and is a project of not-for-profit Foundation 61 . While private residential rehabilitation places can cost $10,000 a month, House of Hope will rely on community and philanthropic funding to keep the cost to patients at 85% of their fortnightly Centrelink benefit.

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That makes minimising running costs particularly important, and in this Energy Source and Distribution article, Foundation 61 founder and CEO Rob Lytzki said the solar system will offer critical savings.

“The gift of solar energy could mean the difference between the centre self-sustaining or struggling to a standstill.”

He said the savings will equal around a quarter of the facility’s paid staffing needs.

AWISE founding member Sophie Wright said:

“Solar is such a valuable gift because the savings continue well into the future, particularly as the Victorian Default Market Offer—the benchmark price for electricity—has just increased by 30%.”

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