MASH Community Solar

MASH – the campaign for More Australian Solar Homes – is the largest community solar bulk-buy program in Central and North West Victoria


MASH – the campaign for More Australian Solar Homes – is the largest community solar bulk-buy program in Central and North West Victoria. Over 1,500 households in the City of Greater Bendigo, Swan Hill, Mount Alexander, Macedon Ranges and Hepburn Shires have chosen to go solar with MASH. Recently, five new councils have joined as partners – Loddon Shire Council, Central Goldfields Shire Council, Pyrenees Shire Council, Buloke Shire Council, and the Ararat Rural City Council. As part of keeping our bulk-buys very localised in nature, we have created two additional bulk-buy programs that operate in the same way as MASH but under different names:
• Hepburn Solar Bulk-Buy, a partnership with Hepburn Shire Council, Hepburn Wind and Z-Net Hepburn Shire
• Mallee Sun Solar Bulk-Buy, a partnership with Swan Hill Rural City Council and Buloke Shire Council

MASH started in mid 2014 as a project of the not-for-profit Hub Foundation in Castlemaine, with the aim of doing something practical to help cut CO2 emissions. In April 2018, ownership was transferred to the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance, a not-for-profit organisation based in Castlemaine that works across central and northern Victoria to support local government with climate change mitigation activities. MASH has been recognised as an outstanding example of a community solar bulk-buy with an award from Environment Victoria.

MASH makes solar simple
The MASH bulk-buy offers high quality solar power systems and battery storage, backed by solid warranties and installed according to best practice industry standards. It also provides great value, with competitive prices negotiated as part of the bulk-buy. With MASH, there’s also a ‘give back’ to the community in the form of free solar for community groups, kindergartens or schools in the region – with one percent of bulk-buy revenues donated as free solar.

MASH: Benefits to residents, communities and the environment
The level of interest and uptake for solar through MASH has been fabulous. Householders, in particular, seem to really get what MASH stands for – a way of buying a high quality solar and batteries at discounted prices from a trusted source, where there’s also a benefit to the local community. Here is what the bulk-buy programs have achieved since September 2014:
• Over 1,500 new solar rooftops.
• Over 5.7MW of installed solar power capacity (around 20,000 solar panels).
• Household electricity bills cut by $1M each year.
• CO2 emissions cut by more than 9,000 tonnes each year (equivalent to around 1800 cars off the road).
• Seventeen community solar systems for schools and community groups.
• High levels of customer satisfaction.

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