Mini grid plan to move us towards 100 per cent renewable energy target
Fantastic effort! Despite the 40-degree heat, around 250 people showed up for two meetings on February 9, to discuss Yackandandah’s shift to 100 per cent renewable energy.
They heard how we can achieve our clean energy target by taking advantage of the very low current cost of solar, the plummeting price of batteries and the availability of smart energy technology.
We also discussed some of the exciting opportunities this situation will open up for Yack residents and businesses.
As you may know, Yack residents, in partnership with AusNet Services and it’s commercial arm, Mondo Power, are working to establish Australia’s first commercial mini grid.
So how do we go about this?
To create a mini grid, each participating household is first equipped with the means to generate energy (i.e. solar panels) store it, (a battery) and manage it, (a smart system).
This step alone offers advantages in that solar energy can be captured and stored, rather than used only when it is being generated. The smart energy management system greatly improves efficiency and reduces waste, which means lower bills.
The actual mini grid is formed when all the participating houses (equipped with solar, battery and ‘smarts’) are linked by a communications and control platform to form a unified energy system.
This gives even more benefits, like further savings on power bills, the ability to share power with each other and the ability to operate during network black outs.
And the large-scale use and storage of clean solar power means big reductions in carbon emissions.
The Feb 9 meeting described the nuts and bolts of the plan to reach 100 per cent renewables.
The first step is to get as many Yack residents ‘battery ready’ as possible, through a bulk purchase of high-quality solar panels and the addition of Mondo Power’s smart home energy management unit called ‘Ubi.’
With battery prices falling sharply, Yack residents will then be advised of the right time, in terms of value for money, to add a battery to their system. This will depend on the individual’s energy use.
Why did I mention ‘high-quality’ solar panels? The mini grid is designed to operate for decades, so no cheap stuff is allowed in this project.
Starting in early March, those who have expressed interest in the bulk purchase will be contacted by a local solar expert to arrange a property visit and discussion.
The best news is that expressions of interest can be still lodged up until Friday March 31. Info packs can be picked up at YCDCo. Or, if you email TRY at: [email protected] we can email you electronic versions.
Yack has already shown itself to be nimble adopters of energy innovation – in the form of YCDCo. Can we achieve the same thing with electricity?
If we get enough people involved in the Yackandandah Mini Grid project, all sorts of things are possible. Imagine sharing power, no more blackouts and running electric vehicles.
And perhaps even starting our own community energy retailer, which can mean full control over electricity rates, and putting some money back into the community.
See links below to view the AusNet offer and to download the printed proposal:
TRY & Yackandandah Folk Festival Partnership
The renowned Yackandandah Folk Festival (YFF) is again in partnership with Totally Renewable Yackandandah (TRY).
- Buy a ticket to the fantastic festival – this year is a special celebration because the Festival is 20 years old. Tickets can be purchased on the website http://yackfolkfestival.com
- Join the enthusiastic volunteers for our Green Team to help us over the festival weekend to make this happen. Please give us a few hours of your time by volunteering for the Green Team on the festival website: http://yackfolkfestival.com/join-in/volunteers/
- Contribute to our Perpetual Energy Fund