When: Sunday 16 December 2018, 11:00am (may change slightly depending on group size).
Where: State Coal Mine, Garden St, Wonthaggi VIC. Click here for a map.

RSVP: Please note – we need to provide an estimate of the number of attendees.

If you are interested in attending please RSVP via our contact page here and indicate:

  • Number attending
  • If you are taking the Underground Tour (see costs below)
  • If you wish to car-pool (have spare seats/lift required). Please include your suburb.

Underground Tour Cost:

The normal cost of the underground tours per the Parks Victoria website is as follows:

  • Adult – $21.30
  • Child (5 – 15 years) – $10.90
  • Concession (Australian Pension Card Holders) – $15.20
  • Student (16+) and Seniors (Government Seniors Card Holders) – $18.40

If we have enough attendees wishing to take the underground tour, we will be able to offer a discounted group booking cost and a tour dedicated to our group that is additional to the published timetable of tours for the general public.

Event Details:

For our end-of-year meeting we are planning a visit to the State Coal Mine in Wonthaggi. A 90+kW solar PV system and 40+kWh battery storage system are being installed to add new energy to the present old energy theme of the park.

The mine is an important tourist attraction managed by Parks Victoria.  It holds an iconic historical-cultural position in the local area. You are invited come and learn about this exciting project and, if you wish, take an underground guided tour of the mine and/or walk around the surface exhibits. There is also a good and reasonably priced cafe on-site.

The mine closed in 1969 and is now well known – one of its main attractions being the ability to take underground tours to get a real feel for what underground mining was like. Back up at ground level there is a museum that displays some of the equipment used in the mine and day-to-day artefacts to help create an overall perspective of the era the mine was operational. There are miners’ cottages on-site that can be visited to get a good feel for how miners and their families lived on a day-to-day basis.

Until now the whole site has illustrated the history, and could be described as a display of “Old Energy”.  The facility is fortunate in that it has a passionate and energetic Friends of the Mine volunteer organisation that for some time has advocated adding a display and educational “New Energy” aspect to the overall facility.  The Energy Innovation Co-op also volunteer-run and passionate about the necessary transition to renewable energy developed a plan in conjunction with the Friends of the Mine to transition the site to one with the overall theme of Old Energy-New Energy.

Given the fact that around 300 kWh of grid power generated by brown coal-fired power stations is used per day on the site (largely to keep the mine pumped dry), it was clear from the start that an on-site renewable energy source would not only replace much of the grid power but also provide the infrastructure to demonstrate the transition from old to new energy.

Funding for the “Old Energy-New Energy” project was initially submitted by the Energy Innovation Co-op several years ago under Round 1 of the Victorian Government’s New Energy Jobs Fund. This was unsuccessful as a result of the cost for the entire project as submitted. The scaled-back Round 2 application was successful and facilitated the installation of a 90+ kW solar array and over 40 kWh of battery storage – the installation of which is now almost complete.

You are invited to attend our end-of-year tour of the site, including a guided tour of the site by the John Coulter, the project manager for the installation and a presentation of how this was achieved and the plans for the future by representatives of the Energy Innovation Co-op.  Come and see how this is not only a major enhancement of the State Coal Mine Wonthaggi, but also learn how, thanks to income from the sale of electricity to Parks Victoria under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), it will be a major factor in adding aspects not funded by the New Energy Jobs Fund grant to the State Coal Mine and also facilitating future Community Energy projects for many years to come.

We hope to see you there.

Chris Moss, Rob Gardner and Peter Wonfor, Renew Melbourne branch committee.

If you would like to email us then please select ‘Contact us’ from our Branch page here.