Solar powered RSL

The parking structures that will hold the solar panels are being installed.

The Deniliquin RSL is well on its way to ditching the grid and going solar.

The decision follows a steady increase in electricity costs, with the club’s power bill costing tens of thousands of dollars a month.

The club’s car park was demolished earlier this year in anticipation of the project, and the parking awnings which will house the solar panels are now being installed.

“We’re spending over $30,000 a month (on electricity), and we can’t see that number coming down anytime soon, especially with how expensive electricity is becoming,” Deniliquin RSL CEO David Hart said.

The club has invested more than $2 million so far into the solar project, which after the $3 million stage two will be officially deemed a solar farm - the term used for any self-sufficient solar project.

It will generate 680 kilowatts of energy, powering the club’s pokie machines, lights, kitchen, and all other electricity needs.

“This is stage one of our two stage project,” Mr Hart said.

“The solar farm will help drive our costs down, but when we have finished stage two, we hope to be able to come off the grid completely.”

Stage two of the club’s solar project will see solar panels installed over the tennis courts; however, this stage is still waiting on council approval.

“After stage two we’ll have our own generator, our own battery storage and we will put power back into the grid because we won’t be needing as much power as we’re going to be generating.”

The majority of funding for the more than $5 million project is being covered by club reserves, although some loans will be required to finish the project.

The club expects the first stage of the solar project to be completed in August, with a starting date for the second stage still to be decided.