New program funding solar power systems for bushfire-affected communities

RECONSTRUCT
Clifton Creek Primary School was completely destroyed in the recent bushfires

Clifton Creek Primary School–a tiny school of 14 students in East Gippsland that was completely destroyed in the recent bushfires–is the first beneficiary of a new bushfire recovery program from REC Solar: REConstruct.

The REConstruct program has been developed by REC Solar, part of the international solar energy brand REC Group, in conjunction with multiple program partners. The program comes in response to last summer’s devastating fires that impacted 57 per cent of Australians, burnt more than 12.6 million hectares of land and emitted 434 million tonnes of CO2.

The program will provide solar power systems to affected community groups to support cleaner and greener rebuilds.

REConstruct offers not-for-profit community organisations, such as schools, sporting clubs, community hubs and emergency services access to approximately 50 x 6.5kw solar power systems fully installed, complete with the top-of-the-range REC Alpha Series panels, inverters and racking.

While this is the first community outreach in Australia, REC regularly donates its solar panels via various community projects, including delivering clean energy to remote communities in Himalaya and providing solar energy to low-income families living in Detroit, US.

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REC Solar country director, Australia and New Zealand, Paul Scerri called on not-for-profit community organisations impacted by the bushfires to immediately visit the REConstruct website and lodge an application.

“The Australian bushfires were a harsh reminder of the impact climate change is having on our environment,” he said.

“Renewable, clean energy is integral to the bushfire recovery strategy so that Australians can work towards reducing greenhouse gases and the ongoing likelihood of more long, devastating bushfire seasons.

“Importantly, for the successful applicants, this initiative will reduce annual running costs, increase power independence from the grid, and contribute to the solution to the climate crisis.

“By supplying our award-winning high-power solar panels2, REC Solar is proud to be doing our part for bushfire affected areas and continuing to empower communities through renewable energy. It’s great to see REC’s strong commitment to social responsibility come to life in Australia through such an important initiative.”

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Clifton Creek Primary School principal Sue Paul described the REConstruct initiative as a perfect and timely fit for her local community.

“Even though our community was left devastated by the destruction of our school, we’re resilient and we’re committed to coming back even stronger. We are deep into the planning process for rebuilding, and we’re thrilled that our new school will now have access to premium solar power.

“This is completely in-line with the school’s commitment to sustainability, and will free up funds to spend on other educational priorities. It will also reduce our annual running costs, so the benefits will be long term.

“With all that is happening in the world, it’s easy to forget the ongoing impact of the bushfires on so many communities, and we applaud REC and its partners for this wonderful program.”

REConstruct applications are open until the end of 2020 or until the allocation is exhausted. Application details and eligibility criteria, such as council areas, can be found online at www.reconstruct.net.au.

Program partners include Fronius, SMA, SolarJuice, Sol Distribution, Tradezone and BayWa Australia.