City’s solar interest strong

By Benalla Ensign

The Benalla community continues to show keen interest in installing solar panels and supporting a renewable energy future for Benalla.

Two information sessions about a Mondo Power solar bulk buy offer were recently held at BPACC, and were well attended by 130 people.

The information sessions were run in partnership with Renewable Energy Benalla and supported by Benalla Rural City Council.

Councillor Barbara Alexander, on behalf of Benalla Rural City, welcomed attendees to the information sessions.

Mondo Power, a commercial subsidiary of AusNet services, has been working closely with Totally Renewable Yackandandah to help them achieve their goal of 100 per cent renewable by 2022.

Mondo representatives, including Matthew Charles Jones from Totally Renewable Yackandandah, spoke about the stages in the journey for a community to reach 100 per cent renewable energy.

Beginning with the installation of solar panels on as many roofs as possible the next stage requires the installation of a smart home energy monitoring and management system, the Mondo Ubi, which delivers information about real-time energy consumption.

Research has shown that being more aware of your energy consumption gives you the power to optimise your energy usage and operate your home more efficiently.

The next stage in taking back some control over your energy supply is to install batteries.

However, batteries are still quite expensive and not yet considered economical for households to purchase, but, prices are dropping all the time and Mondo consider it will be a more economical proposition in a year or two.

Mondo representatives then explained that Mondo Power is ready to provide a battery-ready solar bulk buy offer to the community of Benalla.

Relying on local installers, the program will offer the opportunity to purchase high-quality solar systems tailored to match the individual needs of Benalla residents and businesses.

Each system would also include the Mondo Ubi, a smart control device, which will enable properties to transition to battery storage in the future and offers the potential to trade power with neighbours through a community mini grid.

The idea of sharing power between households led to much discussion and many questions about how this could happen and how a mini grid would operate.

●The bulk-buy offer remains open until the end of July if you missed the information sessions you can find out about the offer at