SecondBite's solar project

20170109 094447

Installation of a solar power system to support food rescue program

How will the funding be spent?

The funding will go towards purchasing and installing a new solar power system. It will consist of a set of polycrystalline solar modules and solar inverter, to be installed at SecondBite's warehouse facility.

How will the project be delivered?

The project involving the purchase and installation of a new solar power system at SecondBite's warehouse facility will help create a foundation of support for their food rescue program. The funds saved as a result of using solar power will be used to further improve and extend the program, so that they are able to collect more surplus fresh food for community agencies who provide greater access and variety of food to many disadvantaged individuals and families across South Australia.

How many people will directly benefit from this project?


How will you measure the impact of this project?

Feedback reports and testimonials received from community agencies will be used to measure the effectiveness of SecondBite's food rescue program and the impact it has on the clients they serve, as a result of the extra investment made using funds saved by this solar project.

How will the project fit this year's theme of ‘Connect, Grow, Build, Belong’?

The installation of a new solar power system at SecondBite's warehouse facility will help lower electricity costs, allowing the organisation to make further cost savings that can be diverted towards improving the efficiency of their food rescuing operations. The funds saved will ultimately benefit disadvantaged individuals and families in the wider community who rely on the services that SecondBite provides, to be able to gain greater access to fresh, nutritious food.

Organisation details

Organisation Name


What does this organisation do?

SecondBite is a not-for-profit organisation which responds to requests from community agencies supporting people in need, to improve their clients' nutrition. The organisation aims to bridge the gap between food wastage and hunger by 'allowing one to serve as a solution to the other', which is done by rescuing and redistributing surplus fresh food. The food rescued by SecondBite are delivered at no cost to community agencies, schools, refuges and soup vans across Adelaide and surrounding areas, who provide food relief programs for disadvantaged individuals and families to improve their health, wellbeing and social inclusion.


Comments closed

Michael Kubler

29 May 2017

Hi SecondBite,
If you aren't successful then I suggest checking out the Citizens Own Renewable Energy Network Australia
We can provide an interest free loan to get the solar PV installed and help with energy efficiency. The payback of the loan is set by the electricity savings. After paying it off in a few years you own it and get much cheaper electricity that's mostly renewable :)

Barrie Castle

18 Apr 2017

Do you have batteries already or is it grid-connect only? Where did you go to get quotes? Many such solar systems will end up costing you more than you are quoted to have saved. Is solar even the best option for you? Who told you so?

Project Owner

Alan Dohnalek > Barrie Castle

24 Apr 2017

Hi Barrie,

Thank you for your questions. We do not have the batteries already as we are looking to have a grid-connect only system. The quote was provided to us by Adapt Energy, who have an office here in Adelaide. We believe that using renewable energy, in particular solar, provides long-term benefit to both us as an organisation and to the wider community. Using solar as an energy source for our operations reflects on our overall charter of becoming an environmentally sustainable organisation, where we aim to reduce the environmental impact brought about by excess food waste whilst running our operations entirely off the grid to further enhance the effect we aim to produce.

Barrie Castle > Barrie Castle

24 Apr 2017

Hi Alan,

I'd like to be of some help, if I may. I'm tertiary qualified in the field & have custom-designed & sold many solar & other alternative energy systems myself over the years & still do so today. Having said that, I've no vested interests in quoting nor selling you a system. I am & have been a subscriber to Electronics Magazines from all over the world since age 15 & my father before that. The outcry from qualified electrical & electronic engineers against the solar industry pushing their products is enormous worldwide...especially in the editorials & letters of our own Silicon Chip Magazine. That is not to say I'm against p.v. solar systems, but the way they are being rolled out in recent decades is very much against basic science & does not provide any possibility of a break-even on costs, let alone a good R.O.I. (Return on Investment). There is a way to do it correctly, as the American People have found out, but you may wish to look at other alternative sources because there are far more than both you & p.v. solar companies are aware of that work much, much better, are significantly cheaper, last indefinitely with little or no maintenance, etc, etc.

Already I can see some conflicting statements in your response, which appear to be in conflict with your noble aspirations. You begin that you want "a grid-connect only system", but then close by saying you aim to be "running our operations entirely off the grid". You are right to state that grid-connect has no batteries, but it will be entirely useless to you in a blackout, brownout or any other fault with your system. However, if you want battery back-up, the way the system is designed will kill your batteries in a matter of a few years, in ways not covered by warranty. And heaven forbid you use those toxic, flammable, failures of a chemical mess that Tesla Motors keep pushing in Li-ion batteries!

Another issue is that you need to get at least three (3) very different quotes from unaffiliated companies for anything in life... be it insurance, purchases or loans.

Adept Energy has an office here in Adelaide, but buying a system from them will put very little money into the local or even the Australian economy. If you are serious about using locally & Australian manufactured goods from our own quality raw materials which will benefit many more local people & support many more high-wage jobs, I can design such a system which is so simple even your own staff can build & will be very proud to take ownership of & maintain, giving you 24/7 power instead of intermittent solar/wind, etc. hybrid systems. This technology can then also extend to your vehicles & any other areas you desire.

Let me know your thoughts on the issues presented.

Project Owner

Alan Dohnalek > Barrie Castle

01 May 2017

Hi Barrie,

Thank you for providing some insight into the solar industry and the issues concerning it. We will take your comments into consideration as we aim to switch over to using renewable energy, be it solar or other alternative sources, in an effort to provide long-term benefits to us and the wider community.