Solar powering John James Village


Solar panels are now powering John James Village in Garran, which supports people living with blood cancer and their families.

The centre received two batteries and 11.88kW of solar PV, co-funded by rebates from the ACT Government’s Next Generation Energy Storage Program, owner/developer the John James Foundation, ActewAGL, Solar Hub and Reposit Power.

The cost of installation is around $40,000.

Run by the Leukaemia Foundation, John James Village has six self-contained units, close to the Canberra Hospital. Patients, carers and their families can stay for as long as is required, without charge. Since opening in 2016, John James Village has provided over 1,400 nights of accommodation for 161 families.

John James Foundation CEO Joe Roff said because the new solar panels will offset the expense of energy, money can be redirected to patients and families, “reaching the end user”.

“[The solar panels] will offset up to 130% of the energy at the Village,” he said.

Solar panels and storage batteries have been installed at John James Village, which provides accommodation close to the Canberra Hospital for people living with blood cancer and their carers and families. Photos: Eva Schroeder.

Mr Roff said energy from the solar panels will be directed back into the grid, generating further income for the Leukaemia Foundation.

ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury said he was pleased to announce the installation of the solar panels and batteries.

“As interest in battery storage rises in Australia, the John James Village … has embraced the idea of gaining energy independence by offsetting most, if not all, of their operational energy costs. These savings will be redirected into providing continuous delivery of respite accommodation and support services to people undergoing treatment for life-threatening blood cancers.”

Minister Rattenbury said the ACT Government, as part of the Next Generation Energy Storage Program, is providing $25 million to subsidise battery storage in over 5,000 homes and businesses by 2020.

“Over 1,000 battery storage systems have now been supported by the ACT Government across the Canberra region. It is great to see so many households and businesses embrace new technology under one of the biggest rollouts of small scale battery storage in the world,” he said.

“Discounts of up to $4,000 for an average household system are available. This allows the community to store the energy generated from their solar panels for times when use is most convenient, such as cooking dinner or cooling the home, or when electricity costs the most,” Minister Rattenbury said.

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