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Port Macquarie oyster farmers well ahead of the solar storage tide

Presented with a $55,000 quote to connect their Port Macquarie property to the grid nine years ago, Robert and Cisca Van Breenan instead chose renewable energy to power their home.

Almost a decade later, the couple decided to upgrade their solar PV system “from 3.3kVAs to 6kVAs” and replace their existing battery with a modern version to increase their solar generation and storage, engaging local company Care Solar Solutions for the job.

The Van Breenan’s opted for a 10kWh LG Chem next generation battery and say their upgraded system is performing well.

“Even for the last couple of days with the rainy and wet weather, it nearly charged my battery full,” shared Robert during a drizzly June day.

“You have to get used to a couple of things; you can’t put on the kettle, the washing machine and hairdryer at the same time - we don’t want to overload the system.”

The Van Breenan’s have owned and operated Crown Oysters on the Hastings River for the past 13 years, producing delicious Sydney rock oysters.

Prior to Port Macquarie, the couple called South Holland home where they embarked on a renewable energy project of a different kind.

“Forty homes threw in and paid for a windmill which helped power our homes. We were still connected to the grid as a back-up. One year later we moved to Australia,” recalled Robert.

The Van Breenan’s next project is to build a north-facing shed on the paddock neighbouring their commercial oyster farm, and once again they will look to the elements to help power their operation – with solar high on their list.

“Business is busy, we need the extra room,” Robert smiled.

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