All posts by Matt CJ

Seeking solar sites

TRY is seeking spaces to scale up to 100%

As your local community energy group, TRY has worked hard at getting solar systems onto Yack rooftops with the awesome result that we now have Victoria’s leading solar rooftop density at a little under 60%. The next step is scaling up to reach our 100% renewable energy goal, but in a way that’s local, with local ownership, and respecting Yack’s unique environment and heritage. Achieving the 100% goal will give Yack greater resilience and the many benefits of a renewable energy economy.

Yackandandah recently received funding from the Federal Government to undertake a feasibility study to set up a community-scale micro-grid, including energy generation and storage equipment. This will result in a Masterplan for Yackandandah that sets out how, and with what mix of installations, we can achieve the 100% renewable goal. In terms of generation assets, we are looking mainly at solar photovoltaics, though wind is possible. For energy storage, we are looking at battery technologies and pumped hydro as options.

Total energy imports to the Yack township and surrounds on a typical winters day showing the peaks due to hot water systems turning on and busy periods. The Masterplan will identify how we can meet these needs (data from the feasibility study currently being undertaken by TRY).

As part of this project, we want to identify potential sites where a community-scale (small) solar farm (2-4 MW) and battery installation could be located.

Can you help us find potential sites? Do you own land that you think might be suitable – or know someone who has land that might fit the bill.

Sites need to satisfy a number of criteria, including:

  1. Orientation – ideally with a sunny, northerly aspect
  2. Area – about 3-8 Hectares, preferably cleared (depending on site availability, we may end up going with multiple smaller sites rather than one larger one)
  3. Location – needs to be reasonably close (say within 500m) of major 22kV power lines on major roads (the 22kV lines are shown on the AusNet map at
  4. Terms  –negotiable- the land needs to be available for use for renewable energy on a long-term lease or purchase basis.


If you own or know of land you think may be suitable for solar generation (as per the criteria listed), and that is available for this purpose, you can contact us on a CONFIDENTIAL/ NO COMMITMENT basis.

Please contact

by Tuesday 20th October.

‘Spring Conversation’ about Renewables

TRY is committed to continuing to engage with the Yack folks about the study, plans and options as the project matures. We are infinitely conscious that people are very determined not to damage our great local landscape.

To describe plans and hear where people’s concerns and wishes lie, we are also proposing a ‘Spring Conversation’ about our renewables plan in October or November (Covid-19 restrictions permitting). Watch this space for dates.



Voices from the North East

TRY recently participated in a podcast on community energy groups in north-east Victoria called Voices from the North East. With the final episode of the series now released, if you’re looking for some fascinating stories to listen to in isolation, this one’s worth checking out.

Simon Duncan interviews Matt Charles-Jones
Simon Duncan from Green Energy Videos has collaborated with TRY on a number of videos and now a podcast series too. He’s seen here interviewing Matt Charles-Jones last year. Photo: Juliette Milbank

A mosaic of community energy groups are working hard across Australia to reform the national energy system.  Local groups throughout our vast land are helping to drive a just and considered switch away from the dated act of burning stuff to make electricity to smart, affordable and effective clean energy.

Video and sound producer Simon Duncan, from GreenEnergy Videos, has curated a dynamic snapshot of groups working in north-east Victoria to accelerate the transition to clean energy and do so in a way that strengthens their communities: to save money, boost local economies and help create a modern, smart renewables based electricity grid. His podcast is called Voices from the North East and has episodes on five local groups, including TRY and Indigo Power.

Why not enliven some of your unplanned spare time with the stories of passionate people working hard to usher in a new era of energy and which responds to climate change and a yearning for more people based energy systems. You can find the podcast via the link below:

Community Energy: Voices from the North East

Great work from Simon, and tireless community energy groups everywhere!

Simon Duncan is shown interviewing Ben McGowan with recording equipment
Simon Duncan (at right) also interviewed Ben McGowan (left) for the episode on Indigo Power. Photo: Juliette Milbank