MASH+ News

Local residents turn up in force to MASH+ meetings

Over 170 people attended four MASH+ info meetings on 10 and 16 July in Castlemaine, Campbells Creek and Maldon.  Interest in the MASH+ solar panel offer was keen. Lots of questions were put to the panel, including:

  • How much performance will I lose if I place the panels on an east/west facing roof compared to north facing?
    • The answer: There is around 15% loss in performance compared to placing panels on a north facing roof. So if you just add one panel to the array for an extra $300 or so you will get about the same output as north facing panel installation.
  • Do solar panels still work when it is cold but sunny?
    • The answer: Yes, solar panels love cold sunny days as they work on light, not heat.
  • How quickly does the system degrade each year?
    • The answer: Trina panels typically degrade 1% in the first year and 0.7% each subsequent year.
  • What’s the cost of going off-grid with a battery powered system?
    • The answer: Stephen Breheny’s price for a 3Kw system that is fully ‘off-grid’ is around $22,000. For a battery powered 3KW system (so you are still connected to the grid but can store the energy from your panels), the ‘all inclusive’ price is just over $17,000. Batteries have a life of around 10 years.

Neil Barrett of The Hub Foundation said:

“We were delighted that so many people made the effort to come out on two very chilly nights to find out about the MASH+ offer.  Registrations following these events were strong and we are planning to organise further information meetings across the Shire in the coming weeks.

“It was encouraging to see, from a straw poll at the meetings, that so many people are considering ‘going solar with MASH+ in order to reduce their CO2 footprint.  This is reflected in the feedback we are getting from the registration forms and shows the strong levels of environmental awareness in our community.”

Geoff Lodge, the CEO of Goulborn Valley Community Energy in Shepparton – a not-for-profit responsible for installing 3,200 solar systems – was guest speaker at the Castlemaine meetings.  According to Geoff,

“Bulk-buys work because of the trust people have in local organisers and local installers. They know that you are always going to be around to fix any problems. The MASH+ project has got everything it needs to be successful.”