At the BSFG General Meeting held on August 23, guest speaker from FRV Services, Development Manager Avantika Basu, provided an update on the 85MW AC Winton Solar Farm. This initiative clearly relates to Renewable Energy Benalla's mission to 'Switch 1/3'.
The first solar farm to be approved for development in the Winton region, Winton Solar Farm will help to establish a sustainable new industry for the region. Project Developer, FRV Services Australia, is one of the leading solar developers in the country, having now initiated six large-scale solar farms across QLD, NSW, SA and Victoria. Avantika provided an update on the project concept, its development approval and expected social and environmental benefits and answered a range of questions from the audience.
Information about the Winton Solar Farm Project can be viewed at the FRV website, http://wintonsolarfarm.com/, and FRV in Australia, http://frv.com/en/tag/australia/.
This proved to be an excellent opportunity to hear more about this Solar Farm Project for which it is hoped construction will begin in 2019. Engineer Avantika and her team stayed behind to answer questions and engage with us all about a project about which they are clearly very well informed and passionate.
REB Report to BSFG Meeting, 22nd February, 2018
The BZE-Benalla Transition Strategy document details three major strategies that need to be implemented to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve zero net energy. These strategies are:
i) Energy efficiency measures to reduce energy use,
ii) Promote and install local roof top solar,
iii) Investigate utility scale renewables, battery storage and micro grids.
Mondo Power Bulk Buy Offer
Mondo Power will be presenting their proposal for a bulk buy of panels, monitoring systems and eventually batteries, and the establishment of microgrids, to the Benalla community in early April. This proposal, if accepted by community members, will lead to increased numbers of PV panels on roofs and has the potential to see the establishment of microgrids in Benalla at a future date.
Small working groups have started to prepare plans to start on the implementation of the three major strategies mentioned above:
Offer of assistance from solar farm developer
FRV Services Australia, a Solar Farm Developer, has approached BSFG/REB to offer assistance.
This is part of the community engagement and benefit sharing by renewable energy project developers required by the Victorian government if they wish to be involved in the VRET.
Financial support is certainly part of this assistance being offered and there may be other forms of assistance as well.
Indi Energy Action Group
Cathy McGowan, Federal Member for Indi, has established an Indi Energy Action Group to promote and support community energy groups across the electorate of Indi.
Community Energy Retailer
Work is being done to investigate the possibility of establishing a community energy retailer in north-east Victoria.
The proposed community energy retailer would be a decentralised energy retailer providing a platform for local communities to achieve community energy goals and access locally generated renewable energy.