Why did 30 people rock up to the first Community Owned Renewable Energy "CORE" meeting initiated by Geelong Sustainability in early 2015 to hear about projects being developed in Victoria and NSW, and consider forming a team for Geelong?
Dan Cowdell, Geelong Sustainability President asked the thirty people attending what had brought them along. Responses varied from being keen to contribute skills for local renewable energy projects, to wanting to take practical action to prevent climate change. Some participants wanted to invest some cash in local sustainable activities. And so the CORE Geelong Task Group was born!
Since the initial meeting, a key group of a dozen people met monthly, investing time and skills to grow our knowledge, our vision and our intentions to make community owned renewable energy a reality in this region.
We supported a crowd funded solar PV system being installed at South Geelong Primary School.
In May 2016 a large group were hosted by Taryn Lane at Hepburn Wind, where we had an opportunity to have a close up look at their two wind turbines, Gale and Gusto. Support for this activity came from Christine Couzens MP and the Friends of the Earth 'Yes to Renewables' team.
CORE Geelong is currently assessing the potential to install a solar PV system for a not-for-profit community organisation. The plan is to use an investment model, similar to those utilised at other community owned renewable energy projects in Australia.
It's an honour to be part of this task group of skilled, smart and collaborative people.
Our grant application to the New Energy Jobs Fund will hopefully support some strong and diverse community and stakeholder engagement and identify potential host sites around Geelong for future projects.
You can read more about our activities as well as download a briefing paper, or sign up to join us on the CORE Geelong webpage.