• Australian software business giant Mike Cannon-Brookes has announced a new venture called Resilient Energy Collective in Australia
  • It provides solar PV and battery solutions to communities in bushfire or storm affected regions in the shortest time possible
  • 5B is providing its pre-built, foldable and easily transportable solar panels to be quickly deployed with Tesla’s Powerwall batteries
  • Systems are already up and running in Cobargo in New South Wales, and Goongerah in Victoria

Devastating bushfires in Australia that started late last year and continued well into 2020 took human and animal lives, not to forget altering the landscape of affected regions, but it also left these regions in the dark with electricity lines burnt. As the government tries to help reconstruct damaged areas, solar PV is coming in as a helpful measure to bring electricity – and in a climate friendly way – back to those who got disconnected – but with private money.

This week Australian tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes launched the Resilient Energy Collective as an initiative to roll out stand alone solar and battery storage systems to bring down the dependence of people affected by bushfires and storms, on expensive and climate-unfriendly diesel generators.

To do it in as short a time as possible, the initiative has tied up with Australian solar company 5B that specializes in providing pre-built solar farms. These can be ‘folded up, packed into a truck, unfolded and connected to homes and businesses in less than a day’ ensuing ‘almost instant access to renewable power’.

And to ensure 24×7 power supply from these turnkey solar farms, Tesla has been roped in to provide its Powerwall batteries. Even before the initiative was officially launched and announced on February 19, 2020, Resilient Energy Collective had already set up solar & battery installations in Cobargo in New South Wales and Goongerah in Victoria which are now generating electricity to provide internet connection, refrigeration and power radio towers, and the like.

The solar and battery equipment is made available to energy providers that identify sites that most need them. Currently, it has the capacity to deploy up to 100 sites. In the long term, Cannon-Brookes said the systems can be leased to energy providers to use during disaster relief.

Cannon-Brookes and wife Annie have committed up to $12 million to the Resilient Energy Collective.

Cannon-Brookes through his Grok Ventures and 5B are collaborating with Sun Cable on a 10 GW solar project scheduled to come online in 2027 to supply power to Darwin and Singapore  (see First Round Financial Close For Sub Cable’s 10 GW Project).