Time to Shine: Beachport Reap the Rewards of New Solar Panels

by BowlsSA2

After quite the saga, beginning in 2015 – Beachport Bowling Club finally had 38 solar panels installed at their club in late 2019. From fixing the roof to battling supplier connections and applying for grants, Beachport faced it all on this journey.

Since 2014 Beachport have achieved many awards, even becoming runner-up in the Best Community Club Spirit Award from Clubs SA. In 2017, Beachport was awarded a Star Club Member Certificate. This status has been extremely beneficial to the club in applying for Government grants. Beachport Secretary, Rhonda Burleigh says that to be contemporary in 2020 your club needs to embrace all programs and assistance being offered.

In 2016, after beginning their 5 year business plan, the club noted that maintaining the club house was the priority. The roof of the main clubhouse was in a deplorable state and could sustain plenty of water damage throughout winter. In order to reach the goal of installing solar panels, this was an urgent project. After quite the campaign from some motivated board members, funding to fix the roof was acquired from the Wattle Range Council.

Now that the roof was fixed, it was time to put focus into the main project – installing solar panels to reduce energy costs. After receiving a grant from local MP Tony Pasin and the Department for Recreation, Sport & Racing for $12,500 towards solar, the club contracted the services of Brite Solar to complete the job. As pictured, local member, Nick McBride MP paid the club a very welcomed visit to present some of the key pillars in this project with their grant.

Beachport Bowling Club, who previously averaged $1000 per quarter for electricity charges, were stoked to see their first bill after installing the solar panels coming in at just $45. Rhonda Burleigh, club secretary, described the club feeling ‘gobsmacked’ with the new bill. This saving is a testament to the hard work and forward planning of many members over a number of years.

The club now looks forward to using the saved funds from electrical bills to put toward the older club building which is the 1878 Beachport Railway Station. Beachport embraces this building as part of their history and look forward to using the building when the club is in ‘full swing’ from September to April. It is currently in a bad state of disrepair but with some assistance from the Wattle Range Council, the money saved on power bills and the hard work of the motivated club members, achieving the goal of restoring the former railway station will be a breeze.