The system will allow the VICSES unit to operate at full capacity during a power-outage, protecting the residents of Yack during extreme weather conditions. This system complements a similar system installed in a neighbouring CFA fire station, boosting the energy capability of both emergency services.
VICSES Unit Controller Jackie Ashman said the installation of the new energy system provided volunteers with a “huge boost” as the unit can now focus solely on callouts during power-outages.
The system will automatically switch to the battery for power and the generator will intervene when the stored power drops below a pre-determined threshold in the event of a mains failure during an extended outage, emergency or volunteer call out.
Ashman said the new energy system will also significantly reduce the unit’s electricity bill, meaning funds can used for other purchases to “magnify” the services provided by the unit.
A further benefit of the energy system has been reduced pressure on the local electricity grid, often with all demand being eliminated. The sizing of the system allows for daytime generation from solar panels to cover the site load and charge the battery. In the evening, the battery steps up and has the added advantage of dramatically reducing the carbon impost of the facility.
Installation of the new system was completed in October 2022, with TRY’s Vice President Matthew Charles-Jones thanking the ANZ Community Foundation for their “flexible and responsive support” throughout the process.
Since the installation, TRY continues to examine which buildings are critical during emergencies and then works to protect its power supply. Central to TRY’s work is the crucial question of how do communities everywhere prepare for extreme weather events – and recover effectively?
This exploration is also coupled with a whole range of energy innovations across town including mail being delivered with electric bikes, a solar / battery powered sculptural works, a cemetery that has replaced all its petrol garden maintenance equipment with superior battery powered replacements. There is even a second-hand Electric Vehicle sales start up.
The Community Foundation is funded by ANZ employees, and for every dollar they contribute through the workplace giving program, the bank matches it with an additional two dollars.
Chair of the ANZ Community Foundation, Christine Linden said this was a great example of the impact the grants can have on local communities.
“A grant like this can be a real game-changer for community organisations who are doing tireless work,” she said.
“Victoria State Emergency Service Units are manned by volunteers, so it’s really powerful that together with TRY we can help to ensure they can spend as much of this time helping others.”