Environment

Bodalla Local Aboriginal Land Council now powered by the sun, thanks to local generosity

Elka Wood28 June 2020
Lisa Cornthwaite (left) from MESA, and Nakai Moreton-Stewart (right) from Bodalla Local Aboriginal Land Council.

Lisa Cornthwaite (left) from MESA, and Nakai Moreton-Stewart (right) from Bodalla Local Aboriginal Land Council. Lisa received a certificate and flowers in acknowledgement of her business’ contribution to the Land Council. Photo: Supplied.

On Tuesday, 23 June, the Bodalla Local Aboriginal Land Council hosted a gathering to acknowledge the generosity of two local organisations, Micro Energy Systems Australia [MESA] and Southcoast Health and Sustainability Alliance [SHASA], which worked together to donate a new solar system to the land council.

And despite it being mid-year, the system is already producing 17-20 kilowatt-hours per day.

“It’s anticipated the solar system will cover all of the Bodalla Land Council’s electricity needs with excess power contributions expected to cover the majority of daily supply charges,” said Kathryn Maxwell, president of SHASA.

During the event, the Bodalla Local Aboriginal Land Council gifted plaques and a painting by local Aboriginal artist Natalie Bateman to SHASA and MESA, in acknowledgement of the partnership for a cleaner renewable energy future.

Left to right: Lisa Cornthwaite (MESA); Matthew Morton (Bodalla Local Aboriginal Land Council); Chloe Waugh (MESA); Nakai Moreton-Stewart (Bodalla Local Aboriginal Land Council); Tony Lowe (SHASA); and Kathryn Maxwell (SHASA).

Left to right: Lisa Cornthwaite (MESA); Matthew Morton (Bodalla Local Aboriginal Land Council); Chloe Waugh (MESA); Nakai Moreton-Stewart (Bodalla Local Aboriginal Land Council); Tony Lowe (SHASA); and Kathryn Maxwell (SHASA). Photo: Supplied.

“There were many unsung heroes involved in helping our community during the summer bushfires, including Lisa and Stephen Cornthwaite of MESA, a Bodalla-based electrical and solar company, who opened their home to strangers and facilitated ongoing supplies of food, essential items and support to the surrounding community through the Bodalla food hub,” said Ms Maxwell.

“After the fires, MESA continued to play a pivotal role in helping to restore power to homes and businesses, and donated a significant number of off-grid systems and electrical works, including genset changeovers to local Rural Fire Service stations.”

In recognition of this important and tireless work, SHASA offered to pay for a new solar system to an organisation of MESA’s choice.

Left to right: Kathryn Maxwell (SHASA); Nakia Moreton-Stewart (Bodalla Local Aboriginal Land Council); Chloe Waugh (MESA) Lisa Cornthwaite (MESA); Tony Lowe (SHASA); Cheryl Moreton (Bodalla Local Aboriginal Land Council); Matthew Moreton (Bodalla Local Aboriginal Land Council); Rachel Kincaid (Bodalla Local Aboriginal Land Council); and Natai Bolt-Terare (Bodalla Local Aboriginal Land Council).

Left to right: Kathryn Maxwell (SHASA); Nakia Moreton-Stewart (Bodalla Local Aboriginal Land Council); Chloe Waugh (MESA) Lisa Cornthwaite (MESA); Tony Lowe (SHASA); Cheryl Moreton (Bodalla Local Aboriginal Land Council); Matthew Moreton (Bodalla Local Aboriginal Land Council); Rachel Kincaid (Bodalla Local Aboriginal Land Council); and Natai Bolt-Terare (Bodalla Local Aboriginal Land Council). Photo: Supplied.

Lisa and Stephen Cornthwaite nominated the Bodalla Local Aboriginal Land Council to acknowledge the significant contribution it has made to the Bodalla community. The 6.3kW system was installed on the roof of the land council’s building on 10 June.

SHASA gifted the costs of materials and MESA gifted the installation costs as well as ongoing maintenance for the system.

“The system incorporates microinverters to better manage shading and multiple roof aspects, and the performance can be monitored online both on-site and remotely,” said Ms Cornthwaite. “This is an excellent achievement considering the time of year.”

Bodalla is a small and tight-knit community on the NSW South Coast, and Ms Maxwell said this project is just one example of how the community works together to support one another.

“This partnership between SHASA, MESA and the Bodalla Local Aboriginal Land Council is a great example of the significant contributions made by local individuals and local organisations, particularly during critical times of need,” she said.

For more information, visit Southcoast Health and Sustainability Alliance and Micro Energy Systems Australia.

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