If you fly a drone camera above CERES today, you will see a sea of sparkling solar panels covering our rooftops. The latest additions to our solar projects are thanks to John Laing Charitable Trust, and CORENA who supported us with an interest free loan, to be repaid from savings on power bills.

When you’re drinking your soy latte at the Merri Table or Grocery Cafe, probably the last thing on your mind is how much energy it took to produce, transport, keep cool, heat up and serve the coffee and soya beans into your Keep Cup. As you enjoy your ten short minutes of caffeine-based pleasure in a hectic day, your mind might stray to whether the beans are organic or fairly traded, or made in Australia, but there is something tricky about linking food and energy production.

One can easily think about food and soil, food and waste, food and personal energy, as they all seem related through land and bodies. But linking food production with electrical power seems like more of a leap. Perhaps it’s yet another example of the age-old human struggle to join the apparent split between earth and cosmos, material and spiritual, manifest and absolute… Or in simpler words, it’s just much easier to consider what you can see, smell and touch when making food choices, even for ethical consumers who are probably pretty exhausted by trying to take everything into consideration each time they eat.

Refrigeration is one of the most energy-intensive processes at CERES, so when you look up and seeing the power lines running across the farm, and the PVs on all the rooftops while quickly gulping down that coffee, it is both a reality check and a symbol of hope for a cleaner, greener future.

Solar panels at CERES: Healing the split between spirit and matter… and reducing carbon emissions by up to 57,105kg per year.