Green solution to brownouts at VICSES Sunbury Unit

Green solution to brownouts at VICSES Sunbury Unit

30/08/2023, 1:00 PM


Photo: VICSES Sunbury Unit volunteers display neighbourhood fund award certificate, while posing with new backup battery for their facility (photo credit: VICSES)

Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) Sunbury Unit volunteers have secured funding for a $50,000 battery kit to power their unit during brownouts.

Following a competitive application process, the Westgate Tunnel Authority provided the funds as part of the $2m initiative Connecting Neighbourhoods Grants for community groups in Sunbury and Bulla. 

The batteries, which are connected to a solar array mounted to the roof of the unit, provide a renewable energy supply to help lower operating costs at the unit, while ensuring continuity of service during storm and flood events. 

The solar array and batteries provide a green alternative to a diesel generator, futureproofing the unit’s capacity to respond to community need. 

VICSES Sunbury Unit has also successfully applied for a $50,000 partial payment towards a new four-wheel drive vehicle, as part of a second grant provided by Westgate Tunnel Authority. 

Since physically expanding the space at the VICSES facility two years ago, to accommodate more vehicles, the unit has space to add another four-wheel drive vehicle to its growing fleet, with only one currently in service. 

The unit's existing four wheel drive is its most active vehicle, as it facilitates Sunbury's substantial boat rescue capability and storm response. 

VICSES Sunbury Unit currently boasts a Heavy Rescue Truck, two Medium Rescue Trucks, one four-wheel drive vehicle, one transport vehicle, two rescue boats, a lighting platform trailer, a sandbag trailer, a storm response trailer, and a car trailer to facilitate transport to road crash simulations and training.

The funds allocated for the four wheel drive will be provided upon a successful tender to the Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP) for the remainder of the cost.