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Solar panels on a roof.

Solar panels coming to council buildings

Wednesday 14 March

Work to install 287 solar panels on five East Gippsland Shire Council buildings has begun.


It is expected to reduce council’s carbon dioxide emissions by 123 tonnes each year, equivalent to seven Australian households being taken off the grid.


Customer Service Centres in Lakes Entrance, Paynesville, Omeo, and Orbost, as well as the Bairnsdale Business Centre will benefit from the project. A total of 94 kW of solar panels will be installed by local company EnviroLinkAu.


Omeo continues to experience frequent blackouts which is problem for the community and local businesses.


A grid-connected battery will also be installed at that site to keep some services running, such as the town’s only bank, when there is a grid failure.


The payback period for the project is expected to be between four and five years. Rising energy prices combined with the declining cost of solar products and the current feed-in tariff means solar energy is more viable than ever before.


A study was undertaken to see which council buildings would benefit most from solar panels. It found the customer service centres, which are open during daylight hours were most suitable.


Once the solar panels are installed, the centres will use electricity generated by the sun, with any excess sent into the power grid for a payment of 11.3 cents per kW.


This is called a feed-in tariff.


The likely financial outcomes households or business can expect from a 3 kW solar photo voltaic system are:

  • Installed cost $3,600
  • Annual generation 3,450 kWh
  • Retail tariff 25cents per kWh
  • Export tariff 11.3cents per kWh
  • Amount of export 30%
  • Annual income $720
  • Simple payback time 5 years
  • Simple rate of return 20% pa

Solar panels on a roof.  

The Lakes Entrance Customer Service Centre was first to receive its solar panels, with installation complete.



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