From the Web Team: REB is a small action group which is working on many aspects of Renewable Energy from a number of directions. With time at a premium we don't want to put on more pressure on them to write reports, so it seems like putting in the information they contribute at meetings via the minutes is a good idea! The work the group is doing is wide ranging and clearly requires considerable research and decision making.
From the August Minutes (20 August 2019)
"1. Action Groups – report on action plan to implement key strategies
1.1 Waste to Energy – report from Adrian.
Adrian has contacted Kelly Wickham at Sustainability Victoria to discuss whether there is any funding available to investigate feasibility of options. Adrian has made contact with Mt Alexander Sustainability Group and will try to meet with them to discuss their project. Still investigating plasma system which recycles plastic back to food grade pellets. Gasification to produce syngas, original company who were liaising with don’t have the capacity. Have found a Canadian company which is more progressed. Cruise ships using similar smaller systems.
1.2 Community Energy Project – report from John
Account for Community Energy Fund is nearly established. John circulated advice received from the Bendigo Sustainability Group and Chuffed.org. Loan based approach would be much easier than PPA type arrangement. Need to work out fundraising and how to proceed and how to accept donations. If people are going to want to claim on tax return will need to get Deductable Gift Recipient (DGR) status. Initial project would be for the two kindergartens we have been liaising with. Mens Shed might also be interested.
ACTION: John and Larissa to identify what are the steps and tasks needed and what skills might be required to progress with the community energy project, with the aim of seeking a few more volunteers to assist. Draft an email to go out to contact list and circulate to REB group for review.
1.3 Energy Efficiency sessions – report from John
The draft proofing and insulation session was held last night with 10 people attending. Most that attended indicated they would attend the next session. Might need to get a list of handyman and trades people that could undertake retrofit work such as installing installation.
2.Mini Grant project: Designing to Engage Benalla in a Renewable Energy Future
Documents were finalised and printed. The group discussed how the flyers should be used and distributed. Should promote at the Lakeside Market, will work on organising for 28 September market. Will also put some in West End Post Office, Library and Swanpool Cinema.
3.Hume Renewable Energy Roadmap
3.1.Launch – the document was recently launched in Wangaratta, John attended. John distributed a hard copy of the Roadmap.
3.2.John is organising a guest speaker to talk about the Hume Renewable Energy Roadmap for the September BSFG meeting. Discussed whether REB could use the opportunity to also promote the REB group. Agreed that this was a good idea. Meeting should be widely promoted.
4.Hot Water Bulk Buy
John and Kevin have been liaising with Indigo Power on the hot water bulk buy. Draft flyer was circulated with indicative prices. Will need a plumber and electrician, John will speak to potential interested plumber and advise Indigo Power.
5.Community Engagement Strategy
5.1.Reports of discussions with stakeholders
Peter discussed with Daryl Defazio who has some concerns around large scale solar. Hasn’t been able to get in touch with Tim Bowtell as yet.
5.2.John distributed Bendigo Council Community Engagement Toolkit which might be useful as we consider community engagement opportunities.
6.1.Annual Statement to Community Affairs Victoria is due the end of October. Peter will report as per the BSFG AGM.
Motion: That Peter is to complete the online lodgement of the Annual Statement to Community Affairs Victoria based on the information presented at the BSFG/REB AGM.
Moved: Kevin Smith 2nd: Peter Maddock All in favour
6.2.Still haven’t heard about the outcome of the funding application submitted with GVCE (Goulburn Valley Community Energy). Geoff Lodge would still like to progress with solar on community housing which isn’t dependent on this funding. May also be future discussion if GVCE are successful with Winton Solar Farm project, regarding community benefit sharing which would be from the outset (unlike others who may only commit once operational and making profit).
6.3.Kevin and Peter will attend the Lightsource BP Solar farm (Winton) session – looking at extending / increasing the size of the solar farm application.
6.4.Chelsea from DELWP wanted to gauge interest in screening of the film ‘2040’ as either a promotion or fundraising event for BSFG and REB. Everyone agreed it would be a good idea at either the DELWP Theatrette or BPACC. Peter suggested ‘Point of no return’ is another good film to screen.
6.5. Benalla Youth Action Society John sent email to the group to ask if they are thinking about the School Strike for Climate on September 20th.
Tuesday 17th September 2019 10am"
Community Energy Forum Friday 3rd August at BPACC - find out what community energy means for Benalla, & you
New, renewable energies are changing the way we get our energy. We are no longer reliant entirely on power from the big energy generators and companies.
We need to make sure that communities benefit from the renewable energy. The Community Energy model gives local towns and regions power over how they generate and consume electricity.
Join us at a Community Energy Forum on Friday 3rd August at BPACC and find out what community energy means for you and our region.
Locally generated renewable energy will create local jobs, cleaner energy and allow the community to control where their energy comes from. It means that towns can create mini-grids, where residents can trade power between themselves – powered by household solar and battery energy. This reduces reliance on the dirty and expensive national energy grid.
A local community energy retailer is currently being developed to allow towns and regions to achieve their renewable energy goals.
Come along and listen to some of Australia's foremost experts in the field explain how we can harness this new form of energy to build a new model of energy.
Three great speakers will outline what community energy is and how we can benefit from it: Simon Corbell, Victorian Renewable Energy Advocate; Nicky Ison, Co-founder of the Community Power Agency; Alison Rowe, Chief Executive Officer of Moreland Energy Foundation.
This is a free event but please RSVP for the Benalla meeting by 3 August at https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/benalla-community-energy-forum-tickets-47537010478
Download the Forum Flyer.
The Renewable Energy for Benalla (REB) Action Group is currently planning a workshop on reducing energy costs for business. REB has been working closely with Benalla Business Network, Catherine Macmillan, Business Development Coordinator for Benalla council, and Sustainability Victoria to plan this workshop.
REB has developed a questionnaire to survey energy use by business that will be distributed through the Business Network. This will provide some base line data on energy use in the business/industry sector and will help with planning of the workshop.
REB members have started to make some preliminary investigations about a suitable community energy project.
Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) Involvement
At the recent EcoCity World Summit in Melbourne, BZE launched the Zero Carbon Communities Guide in which REB features, as do the other two communities BZE is working with, Baw Baw and Nillimbuk. attended the launch as did representatives from the other two communities.
REB has recently received the first draft of a ten year transition strategy to 100% renewable energy. There is much work to be done on this document before it is finalised.