Dandenong Ranges Renewable Energy Association





(For upcoming events see What's On?)


January 2018, The Solar competition winners were drawn on Jan 23
1st prize, $150 discount on solar system from Energy Connections
2nd prize, Solar USB Charger from Emerald Community House
3rd prize, $40 gift voucher, Emerald District Co-Op/Mitre 10
4th prize, $40 meat voucher, Emerald Village Meats
Our congratulations to the winners and thanks to the prize donors.


December 2017, DRREA applauds local businesses that invest in solar. Two recent examples from Gembrook are the IGA supermarket and the General store. (See certificates below) They join Emerald Village Meats, Mitre 10 Emerald and Emerald Medical Centre.


Tuesday Oct 31 we celebrated the 1000th panel at a solar information session at the Library.


October 23 2017, Kate Greenwood spoke on the ATA's East Timor solar project

May 8th, 2017 - Tim Forcey of the Melbourne Energy Institute put the case for an 'All electric home'. This was a joint meeting with EmFSus.


April 2nd, 2017 - DRREA had a stall at Emerald FunFest


March 6, 2017 -  Iain Johnson talked about the community solar project he helped organise in rural India and the solar system he project managed on Mitre 10 in Emerald.

March 18th, 2017 - DRREA had a stall at Selby Fest at Minak Reserve

Battery storage how much does it cost ?
(republished with kind permission from Ian Conibeer of Energy Connections)

Battery storage is here! its new exciting and every one should get one! How Much does it cost? Lets bust a few myths, battery storage is not new, batteries have been used to power homes for over 100 years. We have been installing battery back up and off grid support systems in to homes for over 8 years. What has changed is the marketing hype with every major player telling you they have the Best battery, its dirt cheap and your power bills will just disappear. Wrong !. the cheapest retro fit system we can supply starts at $10-12,000.

If you are receiving 60 cents plus feed in, stop reading now, pat you self on the back and do nothing, do not fit batteries unless you loose power regally and want some back up power. "Battery home storage" as a term is very loose ended and the saying "how long is a piece of string" should be referenced to, every clients lifestyle, house, solar yield and expectation from home storage differs greatly.

If the motivation for having battery storage is to save money at this point, it does not work, lets consider that you solar system has spare energy, that is over and above what the house uses and that this component of energy would have normally been sent back to the Grid, you could see this on your bill as a separate solar component, with an amount that you have received per kilo watt of power you exported. Say your system exports on an average 5 kilowatts a day, (this will be higher in summer and may not export anything in winter or cloudy days) this could be stored into a battery to use later at night or in the evening during peak demand times. If the energy is put into a battery there will be some loses going in and coming out say 5% (very conservative) in each direction, so we have 5kW of energy less 10% 4.5 kw, spare that could be used later. So assuming that the cost of power to buy is 35 cents in the period that you will use it, you could potentially save 4.5 x .35 cents = $1.575, to be fair if you had exported this power (in Vic other states may or may not have feed in tariffs) if the tariff is 7cents then the saving would look like 4.5 x (.35-.7 cents) = $1.26 per day over the year a saving of $459.90. The cheapest and I mean cheapest battery storage to retro fit to an existing system with 4.5Kwh of effective storage, we have found will cost $10-$12,000 dollars and is designed to last 10 years, if we look at the potential savings over ten years 10 x $459.90 that's only $4600.00 dollars at about the time when the unit will need to have new batteries fitted.

If saving a few dollars is not your only motivation, then its time to do a lot of research, to determine what type of system will suit and how you want it to work, we spend a lot of our time custom making solutions, which range from grid connected backing up systems supplying dedicated loads in the house, to full Off Grid allowing people to detach from the Grid completely. The more power you need and the more self sufficient you wish to become the more the cost of the system.

For more info please visit Energy Connections for other articles

February 26, 2017 - The second 'Ride4Solar, Belgrave to Fed Square (and return by train) 45 k.

February 13, 2017 -  David Spratt author of 'Climate Code Red' updated us on the latest climate science.

November 16, 2016 -  Engineer Setu Pelz spoke about his work in Bangladesh on solar micro grids in rural villages.


Click on the links below to view the most recent DRREA newsletters


May 2017 Newsletter


July 2017 Newsletter


October 2017 Newsletter


November 2017 Newsletter


December 2017 News


January 18 Big Picture News


February 18 Big Picture News


DRREA Big Picture News April 2018


DRREA Big Picture News June 2018