Public Hall solar and battery installation comes online

The solar panels on the Yackandandah Public Hall

Happy days for the Yack Public Hall after 5 years of concerted effort. The hall now has 11 kW of solar PV, and a premium SP Pro battery inverter, paired with 10 kWh of battery storage.

Big thanks to the Vic Government, Yack Folk Festival, Indigo Shire, Selectronic Australia and the Hall Committee. Award winning Solar Integrity employee, Luke Fraser, pictured here leading the awesome installation team.

Luke Fraser installing the inverters and battery system inside the hall

This installation is part of our virtual power plant (VPP), connected via the Mondo Ubi, and further building up our mini-grid. And what an awesome late winters day to start crafting home brewed power.

Clean Energy Council Awards 2019

On July 30, Mondo won the Clean Energy Council’s prestigious Community Engagement Award for their partnership with TRY. The award recognises the commitment displayed by both parties in the pursuit of 100% clean renewable electricity. The journey reached a significant milestone in February this year when Yackandandah’s mini grid collectively generated 1GWh of renewable electricity. This accounts for approximately 25% of the town’s energy sourced from the sun and represents $160,000+ in community energy cost savings.

Bobbi McKibbin (Solar Integrity), Matthew Charles-Jones (TRY) and Cathy McGowan (Former Independent Member for Indi) at the CEC awards night.

Mondo thanks everyone in Yackandandah, in particular the commitment and courage shown by everyone who purchased an energy system with them. This is particularly the case for people who have participated in the micro grids at both Yackandandah Heights on Racecourse Road and for those in the Osbornes Flat/Ben Valley communities.  Thanks also go to Solar Integrity, the partnering solar installer, who have been a significant contributor to the work.

Further success was also evident with AusNet Services winning the Clean Energy Council’s Innovation Award.  That award recognised the nationally relevant ARENA-funded research by the University of New South Wales with the 14-household micro grid in Osbornes Flat/Ben Valley.

Congratulations to Mondo and AusNet Services, and Solar Integrity and a shout out to a massive range of people in Yack. TRY feels a little proud, humble and thankful. Big on clean energy with local people (and planet) at the heart!

Energy efficient hot water!

Indigo Power and Totally Renewable Yackandandah are  conducting a Regional Bulk Buy of two energy-efficient hot water systems (HWS): Reclaim CO2 heat pumps and Apricus evacuated tube solar HWS. For the bulk buy offer we have partnered with Solar Integrity, Reclaim and Apricus to present a good price and use local tradespeople to do the installations.

Come along to a local town hall meeting and find out more:
When: Wednesday 17 July, 6:30pm
Where: Yackandandah Courthouse, 4 William St. Yackandandah, VIC 3749

With generous government rebates, it’s worth looking into and a key part of the push to 100% renewables.

The Bulk Buy offer is open until 18 October. For more information or to express your interest, go here. For specific questions contact [email protected]

BIG BATTERY FUND RAISER. CAN YACK DO IT!

Now more than ever, we need ambitious projects that tackle climate change and support community.

WE ARE FUNDRAISING TO BUILD AUSTRALIA’S FIRST EVER COMMUNITY-OWNED SOLAR AND BATTERY PROJECT.

TRY is currently working hard to make Australia’s first community-owned medium-scale battery become a reality at the site of the old Yackandandah Saw Mill. The 250 kWh battery will be charged by the sun during the day, and will power up to 30 Yackandandah homes during the evening. But batteries are expensive, and the system will not pay for itself unless the cost of the battery is subsidised by $150,000.

The good news is that $40,000 has already been pledged (hooray!) Can you help us raise the rest?

Into Our Hands Foundation has set-up a tax-deductible fund just for TRY members to donate to this project. You can donate by visiting this link.

The donation platform issues a tax receipt immediately.

This battery will be the first of its kind, and perhaps our most important step yet toward 100% renewable Yack. Let’s dig deep to make it happen!

Battery installed at the Yack CFA

Yack CFA volunteers with their new 13kWh LG Chem Resu battery

No sign of fires for the Yack CFA volunteers, but they were greeted with the final piece of their energy system: a 13 kWh LG Chem Resu battery…. Hoorah!

An upgrade of the Yackandandah CFA station has been ongoing for a while; the changes started with the installation of an energy efficient split system air-conditioner and LED lighting. In 2018 the inefficient electric hot water system (HWS) was replaced with a reliable bottled gas instantaneous unit to provide for the infrequent use of hot water. And now they have 18 x 335 W LG solar panels and a 13 kWh battery. The battery inverter effectively allows operations as a standalone facility, though as it is a three-phase system, the site will still draw from the grid on the other two circuits during normal operations.

Solar Integrity personnel installing the new battery

The additions reduce running costs, make the CFA more resilient in times of emergency and capable of off-grid functionality – a definite plus during a bushfire.

Community solar at the Old Beechworth Gaol!

Today Indigo Power launched the first community owned solar installation in north-east Victoria at the Old Beechworth Gaol.

Supplying 55% of the site’s electricity requirements and over $1000 in annual savings, clean energy is making a difference in our community!

Others at the launch included: Renewable Albury Wodonga – RAW Energy, Solar Integrity, Indigo Shire Council, Cathy McGowan (Independent Member for Indi), WIN News Albury, PRIME7 News Border, ABC Goulburn Murray, 9 News Border North East, Mondo, and Totally Renewable Beechworth.

Third microgrid to be built at Yackandandah

Today Yackandandah is thrilled to learn of the Victorian Government’s support to build a third microgrid on the edge of town – with funding announced from the ‘Microgrid Development Initiative.’

Many thanks to Jaclyn Symes, Member for Northern Victoria, for making the announcement and for many people across Yack stepping up with Mondo, to unwrap a new way of doing electricity.

The $380,000 funding will support a total microgrid project cost of over $900,000 and will both support individual efforts to save money and reduce carbon emissions, but also work to deliver a tidier electricity supply in a ‘constrained’ Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) line – the network equivalent of an extension cord draped across paddocks!!

View the one step off the grid article here.

Key TRY partners, Solar Integrity have taken out an installer award

Luke Fraser WON the National Clean Energy Council Award for Best Solar PV System Design & Installation (Under 30kw, Grid Connect PV Power System with Battery Backup). His system design demonstrates how residences connected to single wire earth return (SWER) lines can install larger solar systems. The award was announced and awarded at the Grand Networking Event hosted by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) last night in Melbourne as part of the All Energy Conference, the countries largest industry conference.

This award is testament to Luke Fraser’s passion for the industry and his level of quality workmanship. This award is shared by the Solar Integrity team, Mondo Power, AusNet Services, University of Technology Sydney, Totally Renewable Yackandandah & of course our amazing customers who trust us with their dream homes.

TRY’s story published in renew. magazine

In his endless wanderings to promote the work of TRY and the transition to 100% renewables, Matt Charles-Jones must have told the TRY story many times. Well, this time someone took note when he spoke at renew. (formerly the Alternative Technology Association) Melbourne branch meeting and wrote it all down. Check out this article in renew. magazine (Issue 45, Oct 2018, pp.42) – it is a great overview of the incredible TRY journey.