The RACV says the investment is an extension of its commitment to providing renewable energy solutions for more Victorians, with the installations at designated ‘emergency safe places’ done free of charge by RACV Solar.
“The catastrophic bushfires of the summer of 2019-2020 that devastated many regional towns highlighted the importance of energy resilience during a natural disaster,” the RACV said in a statement on Wednesday.
“RACV Solar will install $1m in solar panels and batteries on regional community halls, sporting grounds and recreation reserves that act as emergency safe places during extreme weather events such as bushfires.
“The nominated sites are Neighbourhood Safer Places, Bushfire Places of Last Resort and Emergency Relief Centres.
Many of these buildings are in remote locations where electricity supply from the grid is unstable and where one road in and one road out can see communities isolated and cut off from power and communications.
“RACV partnered and collaborated with local councils to determine each of the locations to ensure it met community needs.”
The RACV says these facilities also play a broader community role, being hubs for events, sport and other activities that form the basis of connection and support in remote townships.
A total of 28 separate solar and battery installations will be installed in communities free of charge, with the first two installations taking place at Omeo Recreation Reserve in Omeo and Rowen Park in Tallangatta in December.
Other sites where solar and battery installations will be installed in the coming year include:
Yea Showground and Recreation Reserve
Biggara Hall, Biggara
Cudgewa Hall, Cudgewa
Hawksdale Community Hall
Harrietville Hall, Harrietville
Dederang Recreation Reserve
Clifton Creek Community Hall
Barrack Reserve, Heathcote
Omeo Recreation Reserve
Calivil Hall Recreation Reserve
Serpentine Memorial Hall/Janiember Park
“This is a great investment in the safety of our regional communities, while also providing energy resilience in areas prone to bushfires,” said RACV Chief Executive Officer Neil Taylor.
“RACV last week welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement of the home energy savings package. We believe solar and other renewable energy sources are an important part of a sustainable energy system.
“In last 12 months RACV has installed solar across its resort and office assets in Victoria which combined with an electricity supply agreement with Red Energy, supports the organisation’s commitment to a clean energy future.”