Solar lights installed in the Victorian town of Yinnar are lighting the way for the local community to access a popular sporting and recreation reserve.
Until the lighting installation in February, the kilometre-long path linking the reserve and the main town was a safety concern, particularly in the winter dark.
It’s a milestone for the Yinnar community and has been a priority project for over a decade.
Mark Maynard, Executive Member of the Raiders Cricket Club located at the reserve said, “the new lighting benefits our members greatly! Most of our junior members use the pathway to access the cricket facilities and occasionally training finishes late, so parents take great comfort in the fact that there is plenty of light to safely travel home”.
According to Yinnar and District Community Association treasurer John Harris, one of the biggest challenges of this project was forming the partnerships and accessing the funding required to see the project realised.
Latrobe Valley Community Power Hub was able to advance this project through feasibility advice, networking opportunities and proposal re-development which identified a clean energy solution instead of the reticulated lighting originally proposed.
Yinnar and District Community Association raised $20,000 for the project with another $20,000 supplied by the Latrobe City Council, who partnered with the community to secure a $120,000 grant from the Latrobe Valley Authority. This meant that the project was completed in one installation for maximum benefit to the community.
This project demonstrates the benefits of communities actively transitioning to renewable energy and how interest in other clean energy solutions can be generated to support Victoria’s renewable energy and emissions targets.
The Community Power Hub pilot is a State Government program that is supporting community owned renewable energy projects. Three pilot sites were chosen, the Latrobe Valley, Bendigo and Ballarat. The Gippsland Climate Change Network is the host for the Latrobe Valley Hub.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment & Climate Change:
“Community-led projects like this really demonstrate the benefits of transitioning to renewable energy, not only for the community but also in building a sustainable energy future for us all.”
Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio.
Quotes attributable to other project stakeholders:
“What a great outcome for the community who have worked so hard to get this vital connection in Yinnar safely lit. Latrobe City is thankful for the work that has been done by so many people and we will continue to work to keep our communities connected.”
Cr. Dan Clancey, Mayor, Latrobe City Council.
“The LVA is pleased to work with our project partners and the Yinnar community to improve safety and accessibility between the township and the recreation reserve.”
Karen Cain, CEO, Latrobe Valley Authority.
“It has been rewarding working with this community in helping them overcome some technical barriers to realise a project that will benefit the local area for many years to come.”
Chris Barfoot, Project Manager, Latrobe Valley Community Power Hub.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions the ‘soft’ launch of this project was the publication of a short VIDEO on our social media platforms.