Licola is the only Victorian town not connected to the mains electricity grid. They have been generating their own power which has included using over $100,000 in diesel each year. However, these costs were limiting opportunities to develop and reinvest in the facility.
The greater part of the town is occupied by the Licola Wilderness Village, where Lions Clubs have for 40 years run camps for the disadvantaged, deserving, disabled and disengaged, mostly held during school holidays.
Earlier this year, the LVCPH investigated the sites needs and developed suitable renewable energy alternatives. These included solar panels, batteries with 30 hours of off-grid storage, a new generator control system, and a PLC synchronisation system that can continuously monitor the state of energy generation and usage to seamlessly swap between solar panels and battery storage as needed.
This will be a large renewable off-grid project, that once up and running will provide significant data useful for other communities who are at the end of grid lines or are wanting to go off-grid.
The ability to upgrade the facilities due to a massive decrease in energy spending will also benefit the summer fire fighters who use the site as a refuge and relief staging point as there is no other available infrastructure close by.
They are currently seeking additional funding options, but hope to start on this project soon with the funding that they have secured so far.
The LVCPH hopes to provide you with more information, photos and videos as the project progresses over 2019.