Atlassian founder Mike Cannon-Brookes is teaming up with Tesla and 5B to help install solar panels and batteries in towns cut off from power after the devastating bushfires. It comes after the software billionaire donated $12 million to the cause in a hope to speed up recovery efforts in the region.
Mike Cannon-Brookes has announced he and his wife, Annie, are working on an initiative called the Resilient Energy Collective kicking it off with a huge $12 million donation. The collective aims to help set up solar panels and batteries in regional towns affected by the destructive 2019/20 bushfire season.
Here’s a little something I’ve been working on with brilliant mates at @5B_Au & @Tesla to bring power to bushfire communities v fast. Installed in under a day, can last 20 years. An amazing Aussie story of resilience, ingenuity & action in the face of terrible circumstances ????❤️ https://t.co/t32hUgAQbt
— Mike Cannon-Brookes ???????????????? (@mcannonbrookes) February 19, 2020
It's teaming up with Tesla and Sydney solar provider, 5B, to help get communities connected to the grid. Using Tesla's Powerwall batteries and 5B's MAVERICK solar set up, it plans to offer towns, businesses and residents with renewable energy solutions as quickly as possible with many of them expected to last for decades.
"After a horror summer, many Aussies need our help to get their lives back on track. We’ve got to do all we can to get them back on their feet," Cannon-Brookes said in a press statement.
"In three weeks we've come together, found the technology, adapted it, put it on trucks and right now it's operating, generating electricity."
The technology, the collective states, is "flexible and can be packed up and moved onto another site within a day."
Australia has the highest rate of rooftop solar panels in the world, but also one of the lowest rates of large scale solar infrastructure. You, dear reader, are better at renewable energy than the government you pay your taxes to.
Its work is already being seen in two towns — NSW's Cobargo and Victoria's Goongerah.
In Cobargo, the group has already got systems back up and running, including a vital emergency communications towers, with the help of Essential Energy.
"This unit is supplying a police radio tower and an RFS, National Parks and radio tower. It was installed and operational in less than two days, and has saved RFS volunteers from spending valuable time refuelling generators," the collective's site reads.
Similarly in Victoria, it's gotten a town hall back in action, which will be used but local residents for "relief services, internet connection, refrigeration and important community meetings."
If your power supply has been affected by the bushfires between 1 July 2019 and 1 July 2020, you can register with the initiative in order to be placed on the list.
After a big slump, the future is looking bright (ha) for solar power in Australia. Employing over 10,000 people, and pushing South Australia into a world-dominating position alongside Germany and Italy - our Federal Government needs to start taking notice.