CORE Geelong September Update

It’s been a busy month for the Geelong Sustainability’s CORE Geelong task group with a number of community owned renewable energy initiatives underway. Here’s a brief update about what’s been going on.

Monthly update

We’re changing the way we communicate the activities of Geelong Sustainability’s CORE task group! There is so much great work happening and we have been so busy, we realise we can improve the way we have been communicating all this great work so we’ve decided we’ll send a bi-monthly update email on the task groups projects.

If you’d like to share these updates with friends, family or colleagues, they can sign up to receive our updates below.

From here on in the task group meeting agendas and minutes will only be communicated to active members of the working group. If you’d like to be an active, regular attendee at our meetings you are more than welcome, see details about the next meeting at the bottom of this email. We expect that regular attendees will offer to contribute to actions and tasks agreed at meetings.

If you cannot or do not want to attend regular meetings but are still a passionate supporter of our CORE work the best way to keep in touch is to sign up for our email updates at the bottom of the page.

Implementation of Community Investment Solar

We anticipate starting the implementation project for our first Community Investment Solar installation in the near future.
The project will see 150kW of community owned solar being installed on a not-for-profit aged care facility in Geelong.

We are expecting the project to be open for community investment early in 2018, and the solar system to be installed by mid-2018.

Geelong Sustainability has contracted Dan Cowdell as the project co-ordinator, Dan completed the scoping study and business case for the project in early 2017 and is thrilled to be working on the project.

We have a register of interest for community members who would like more information about the investment offer when it is ready in early 2018. Register your interest in the CORE project here. Community Solar

Barwon Heads Community Renewable Energy Forum

CORE task group chair Dan Cowdell presented about community energy at the Barwon Heads forum, sharing some of what the CORE Geelong task group has been working on. It was a fantastic event with an attendance of around 100!

Dan was amongst an impressive line-up of speakers including Simon Corbell – Victoria’s Renewable Energy Advocate, Tobias Geiger from Westwind Energy, Nick Carrazzo from the ATA, Andrea Pape from Sustainability Victoria, Alex Houlston from Energy for the People and Suzie Brown from ReEnergise Geelong.

There was considerable interest in renewable energy within the Barwon Heads community.

Search for new Host Sites

The team has been busy in our search to find new host sites for our community solar projects. Our volunteers have been connecting with a number of organisations. Many organisations will be affected by big electricity price increases over the coming year, which means community solar projects will be even more attractive, with shorter payback periods

We recently conducted a solar feasibility assessment for an organisation with three aged care facilities. The assessment results showed a great potential for solar, with payback periods of 6-7 years and combined annual electricity bill savings $50,000+. We are awaiting a decision from the organisation’s board.

Aged care is a sector we have been particularly focused on due to the high energy usage, especially during the day, and large roof spaces and the potential for broad community engagement.

Following the success of our project with South Geelong Primary School, (you can read about it here), we have been looking for new schools to partner with to run another solar crowdfunding campaign.

We are also in talks with the City of Greater Geelong about the potential to use their buildings for a community solar system. The project model would setup 10-15 years of funding for our Community Sustainability Fund, with the value of solar electricity generated going towards community sustainability initiatives.

Community solar and battery bulk-buy

We have developed a community bulk-buy project and are currently looking for project partners and funding sources.

Project Overview

Geelong Sustainability will coordinate a community bulk-buy campaign to increase the uptake of solar PV and battery storage in the City of Greater Geelong and its surrounding region. The pilot project aims to have 100 community members join the bulk-buy to install solar PV and/or batteries at their homes or businesses.

The pilot project will also establish a replicable community bulk-buy model that does not rely on grant funding in order to run subsequent bulk-buy programs.

The project will simplify the process of getting solar and battery storage and make it easy for residents and commercial businesses. It will utilise the collective purchasing power of the community to gain discounted prices on quality solar and battery storage systems. And it will provide a platform for delivering trustworthy, independent advice about solar power by means of information sessions, one-on-one consultations and presentations from Geelong Sustainability, solar mentor volunteers and various solar and battery experts.

Community participation in the bulk-buy will contribute to a Public Sustainability Fund that supports local sustainability activities and will assist low-income and disadvantaged households to get solar.

Solar for rental properties

This case study into the feasibility of solar for rental properties was commissioned primarily to determine if a landlord and tenant could come to an arrangement to have solar installed on the rental property where the economic benefit from the solar system is shared between both parties. Additionally, Geelong Sustainability is investigating the possibility of offering a free solar brokering service to landlords and tenants. The service would aim to make getting solar on rental properties easy and affordable.

So far, we have six rental properties participating in the case study, but we still need 1-2 more high energy using households, like families of 4+.

If you know any large families that live in a rental property and would like to get solar please get in touch with Dan, dan@geelongsustainability.org.au

Have your say: Geelong community zero carbon action plan

The City of Greater Geelong has just opened an important survey that will guide the creation of a Community Zero Carbon Action Plan.
The survey only takes a few minutes to complete and is only open for the next three weeks. Can you complete the survey now?

he City of Greater Geelong is developing a Community Zero Carbon Action Plan that will map and prioritise projects, programs and partnerships to support a zero carbon Geelong. It will also highlight partnership projects and who is best placed to deliver zero carbon actions.

They are keen to hear from you and other community members to understand what actions you’re currently taking and what support you need to reduce emissions at home.

This is an important opportunity to contribute your ideas for a zero carbon and 100% renewable GeelongPlease make sure you complete the survey before it closes on Sunday 1st October. Click here to take the survey now.

You can also help share the survey with your friends and family by forwarding this email, or by clicking here to share it on Facebook.

Next meeting

The CORE Geelong task group meets regularly on the 1st Wednesday of the month. Our next meeting is Wednesday 4th October, 7pm – 9pm, at the South Barwon Community Centre – 33 Mount Pleasant Road, Belmont.

Please contact Dan for more info about attending the meetings dan@geelongsustainability.org.au

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