AGL has installed 33 kW of solar panels and 54kWh of batteries across rural South Australian hubs in Edithburgh, Stansbury, and two in Yorketown – to support the Southern Yorke Peninsula communities during extreme weather events.
AGL provided a grant of $175,000 to these communities, which during the devastating bushfires of 2019-20 saw catastrophic fire conditions break through containment lines impacting property and livestock in the region.
AGL Chief Operating Officer, Markus Brokhof, said in times of need these community hubs are critical in providing a safe place for people to come together.
“When extreme weather hits communities, power can become unreliable, leading to blackouts and furthering the risk to the wider community,” Mr Brokhof said.
“The communities in the Southern Yorke Peninsula have suffered unimaginable loss over the past few years but are rebuilding and ensuring that the best facilities are in place to protect the community in the future.
“We know these hubs have become a focal point for locals in times of need and the solar and battery installations mean they will be able to reliably operate and continue to be a safe haven for so many people, even during the darkest hours.”
The installations will be connected to AGL’s Virtual Power Plant, helping to stabilise the grid and providing a sustainable energy source for the community, while producing enough energy to power nine average South Australian homes.
By displacing electricity that would otherwise be sourced from the grid at a higher emissions intensity, the solar and battery installations will avoid 17 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
Southern Yorke Peninsula Community Hub Coordinator, Kate Martin, said during and following the Yorketown fire, many people in the communities realised how underprepared for emergencies they were.
“AGL have been involved in the fire recovery program since soon after the fire, and we are very grateful for their contribution in general and for the installation of the solar systems specifically,” Ms Martin said.
AGL has been generating renewable energy in the region since the introduction of its Wattle Point wind farm in 2005.
“AGL is honoured to be part of the Southern Yorke Peninsula community,” Mr Brokhof said.