Environment

Atlassian co-founder rolls out new solar-powered systems for bushfire victims

Workers install a solar and storage unit in bushfire affected Cobargo, NSW at Peak Alone. Source: Resilient Energy Collective

The systems take under a day to install and can last up to 20 years, according to tech mogul Mike Cannon-Brookes.

In the wake of the horrific bushfire season the Resilient Energy Collective, led by Mike Cannon-Brookes, is looking to re-energise communities free of charge. Alongside his partners 5B and Tesla, Atlassian co-founder Cannon-Brookes is calling on any communities affected by the bushfires to get in touch.

The aim of the program is to power essential resources for communities, with the group already reconnecting emergency communication towers in Cobargo on the South Coast of New South Wales. They've also installed a system in the Goongerah Community Hall in East Gippsland in regional Victoria.

Cannon-Brookes alongside his wife Annie have reportedly donated $12 million to ensure the program reaches communities.

The group has called the initiative a story of Australian "resilience and ingenuity" in the face of the country's worst bushfire season on record. Their plan is to replace short term diesel generators with long term solar energy.

5B, an Australian solar energy company, will be providing the solar systems, while US company Tesla, led by Elon Musk, are supplying batteries.

The solar power systems take under a day to install and can last up to 20 years, according to Cannon-Brookes. The initiative has provoked conversation around how other non-government entities can aid affected bushfire communities. 

The intervention is looking to reduce the costly use of diesel generators with a clean energy approach. 

The solar farms pre-built by 5B are easily accessed once packed in for delivery. And to safeguard against power outages, Tesla’s Powerwall -- recognised as one of the world’s best solar batteries -- are being installed. 

They have targeted 100 sites in 100 days, and are looking for people affected by the recent bushfires to register their information at the Resilient Energy Collective’s website. The organisation is looking to coordinate with energy providers across the country to re-power these fire ravaged communities.