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April 14, 2021

Electric-vehicle charging station opens

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Macadamia Castle proprietor Tony Gilding prepares to 'fill up' his car with solar electricity at the Castle's new EV charging station. Photo Jeff 'High Powered' Dawson
Macadamia Castle proprietor Tony Gilding prepares to ‘fill up’ his car with solar electricity at the Castle’s new EV charging station. Photo Jeff ‘High Powered’ Dawson

Australia’s first public electric vehicle (EV) charging station, powered by solar panels over a car park structure, opened at Macadamia Castle in Knockrow last Friday.

The launch was led by Greens energy spokesman Dr John Kaye MLC and Ballina Greens candidate, Tamara Smith.

In a tongue-in-cheeck reference to comments recently made by the prime minister about coal being ‘good for humanity,’ a large banner was unfurled to read: ‘Solar is good for humanity.’

Tony Gilding, owner of The Macadamia Castle, said, ‘This Tony happens to think that solar is good for humanity. It is such a thrill for me to be setting an example of what is possible for small business despite the best attempts of fossil fuel companies to slow this inevitable swing to renewables.’

45kW system

The 45kW system features 180 panels arrayed on a durable, purpose-built car canopy structure.

Also known as a solar carshade, Mr Gilding says it will generate half of Macadamia Castle’s energy needs in addition to charging visitors’ electric vehicles.

According to Mr Gilding, Macadamia Castle’s move to solar was prompted by ‘shockingly bad service and incompetence’ from his electricity supplier and retailer and the exorbitant cost of conventionally generated energy, as well as the the obvious benefits of non-polluting solar.

He added that he hopes to make Macadamia Castle entirely energy independent in the future.

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  1. Well done Tony!
    I thank you for taking control. I have been keen to buy an electric vehicle and now you have supplied a charging station in close proximity I will be encouraged to get one.
    Let’s hope others follow your lead!

  2. Thanks High Powered Jeff

    Tony from the Castle here

    We told our electricity company that we have installed this and they told us that we now have to wait 12 months before going back to the lower volume and cost electricity plan we used to be on.

    Strange thing is that they put us on the higher volume and cost plan overnight when we exceeded their usage limit.

    So its a bit like snakes and ladders in reverse. Higher charges effective immediately. Lower charges wait 12 months

    How does the State government let the Power Utilities write the rules?

  3. Congratulations Tony,

    You truly are a community minded person. A great example of sustainability which you are famous for. I will be happy to look at an electric vehicle now that I can recharge near home. Well done.


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