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Solar Project

Our environment is precious – and we want to make the Abbotsford Convent more sustainable. By installing our first solar energy system, the Abbotsford Convent Foundation (ACF) has taken a significant step towards a greener future for the Convent precinct.

This 98kW solar energy system will save over 100 tonnes of emissions each year, significantly reducing the site’s carbon footprint. With more than 340 panels spread across the rooftops of the Auditorium, the Rosina Function Space and the Mercator building, this solar energy system also provides a wonderful platform for showcasing the benefits of a more sustainable future to our community.

What’s The Solar Project about?

In May 2016, the Abbotsford Convent Foundation (ACF) embarked on its first ever crowdfunding campaign through Pozible with the aim of raising $60,000 to help bring solar and renewable energy to the Convent. More than 300 members of the Convent’s community of friends and supporters contributed to the campaign to help us meet our target – and individuals from around the country contributed personally to help us reach our goal. With generous support from a wonderful funding partner, every contribution was matched dollar-for-dollar up to $60,000 to reach the total $120,000 required to kick the project off. This meant that every individual pledge was instantly doubled.

We wish to express our most sincere thanks to all of the generous contributors and supporters who helped make this project happen.

Where the savings will go

The Convent precinct is spread across 6.8 hectares and has significant energy costs, with the ACF currently spending $130,000 each year on electricity alone. A large-scale solar energy system will save the ACF around $15,000 each year – savings that will go directly towards protecting the Convent’s gardens and grounds, as well as supporting additional sustainability initiatives across the precinct.

Solar power is just the beginning. With your continued support, we can roll-out additional sustainability initiatives, including LED lighting, site-wide green waste recycling, an integrated composting regime, additional water tanks and irrigation channels.

Attracting around one million visits annually, the Convent has an important role to play in demonstrating the benefits of moving towards a sustainable future and reducing its energy footprint. As a pedestrian precinct with nearly 7 hectares of green open space, the Convent is a restful sanctuary and popular family destination. It’s important that we maintain this precious pocket of nature for the community to enjoy now, and for generations to come.

What happens next?

Since meeting our target to get this project started, we have been working in consultation with Heritage Victoria around the best possible models for installation, taking into account the impact on the Convent’s precious heritage infrastructure. The Convent’s first solar energy systemwas installed in June 2017, with panels spanning across the rooftops of the Auditorium, Rosina Function Space and Mercator building. We are thrilled to have this system up and running, and to being a part of a cleaner, greener future for the Convent and its community.

P.S. There’s a lot more to do, and you can be a part of it!

We simply could not do it without you! The ACF relies on the support of individuals, partner organisations and the philanthropic community to keep the Convent safe, secure and welcoming for everyone. You can help us develop impactful sustainability initiatives and play a part in creating a greener future for the community.

Please consider making a donation today to support sustainability projects at the Convent.

Donate online or phone Alexandra Murphy, Head of Development, on 03 9415 3607.