Leveraging community power
The community Virtual Power Plant is a network of community buildings with solar installations, and some with batteries and efficient CO2 heat pump hot water systems. These installations reduce running costs for community groups and provide resilience in times of emergency.
The buildings in this project also contribute locally generated renewable energy to the Yackandandah minigrid which other users can then access.
TRY won two Premiers Sustainability Awards in December 2020 for this project, for the Community category and the Regional Recognition award. You can read about the project and watch the video about it here, and read some more detail on it here.
We’re so thrilled to win the awards but even more thrilled that the VPP is contributing power to the local minigrid and making the task of running a community facility easier for those groups. Although it has been difficult to quantify the savings to groups given the pandemic lockdowns during 2020 and 2021, we know that the Yackandandah CFA has already saved ~$3000 since their system was installed in 2019.
We have a few more community buildings under development to join the existing VPP, so watch this space!