Club's $200k solar, battery investment pays off for youth
WITH $200,000 of solar panels and battery storage, the Gladstone Police and Citizens Youth Club is lining up ideas for how to spend the $40,000 it will save every year on its power bill.
The Gladstone branch is now one of 20 PCYCs in Queensland benefiting from solar power after it received a grant from the Federal Government in 2016 during the election.
Acting branch manager Sergeant Dominic McGee said the solar and battery power would significantly reduce their electricity bill, which was about $10,000 a month.
Sgt McGee said the money would be spent on hiring four new youth workers to offer more programs for the region's disadvantaged youths.
"Moving forward this will allow us to hire more youth development officers ... who work with at-risk or disadvantaged youth in the community," he said.
He said it would also allow the PCYC to fund its own programs, instead of relying on government and community grants.
As yesterday's morning sun was beating down on the roof's solar panels, Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said the funding from the Community Development Grants Program was well spent.
He said the project would reduce the club's expenses and ensure funds were used on operational activities not electricity bills.
"This club has had growing pains from the ever-growing demand on its facilities, from fitness to health and welfare," he said.
"As the centre demands more power we can look at furthering this scheme."
Mr O'Dowd said it was an honour to help provide more feet on the ground for the PCYC to help it continue to support the region's youth.
The investment at the club is part of a organisation-wide movement towards being entirely powered by solar, PCYC head Phil Schultz said.
"We find that you make more money out of investing in solar than you do putting money in the bank," he said.
"This allows us to spend more on the youth in the community... the savings we make will go directly to the PCYC's programs."
The project created six construction jobs for about eight months.