Forum answers energetic questions

September 26, 2021 BY

Make the switch: BREAZE is encouraging residents to be “ambitious” in their approach to renewables. Photo: FILE

BALLARAT Renewable Energy and Zero Emissions will present a free community energy forum online on Wednesday, 29 September to answer questions about renewable energy.

Running from 7.30pm to 8.30pm, BREAZE board member Paul Duggan will host the discussion between regional Victorian community energy experts; Hepburn Wind manager Taryn Lane, Ballarat Community Power Hub Pilot 2017 to 2020 member Ian Rossiter, Natimuk Community Energy president Edwin Irvine, and St Arnaud Community Energy Group’s Eddy Ostarcevic.

BREAZE president Mary Debrett said the speakers have valuable hands-on experience and tales to tell, in line with The Grampians Community Power Hub’s goals to engage residents and generate energy initiatives across the region.

“These are stories from regional communities that are leading the way in the renewable energy transition; Hepburn’s community-owned wind farm, the win-win of solar and battery installations for public institutions in Ballarat and Ararat, Natimuk’s commitment to offset township emissions via a community solar farm, and St Arnaud’s hunger for energy independence,” she said.

“They’re stories about ordinary people who are literally empowering their communities.

“Getting a community energy project up and running takes collaborative effort and perseverance but the pay-off is fantastic, with cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, energy cost savings, and energy resilience; particularly important when bushfires hit.”

The Grampians Community Power Hub Pilot from 2017 to 2020 created approximately 700 kilowatts of power owned by the public.

“We encourage the community to be ambitious in their thinking about renewables.

“There are now multiple business models for funding community power projects, from crowd-sourced funding to leasing arrangements and angel investors, to the tried-and-true methods of community fund raising,” Ms Debrett said.

Visit bit.ly/3ExqwJy to register for the online forum.

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