Residents from around western Victoria will have the opportunity listen to engage with some of the region's key energy organisations with the Community Energy Forum.
Ballarat Renewable Energy And Zero Emissions Inc. (BREAZE) has been selected by Sustainability Victoria as lead partner of the Grampians Community Power Hub and will be holding a free online Community Energy Forum.
The Forum will feature four community energy experts, on September 29 from 7:30-8:30 pm.
As part of the program BREAZE Board member, Paul Duggan, will be joined by Hepburn Wind manager Taryn Lane, member of the Ballarat Community Power Hub Pilot 2017-2020 Ian Rossiter, Natimuk Community Energy president Edwin Irvine and St Arnaud Community Energy Group member Eddy Ostarcevic.
BREAZE Inc. president Mary Debrett said the event was an opportunity for community members be involved in community energy projects.
"Getting a community energy project up and running takes collaborative effort and perseverance but the pay-off is fantastic - cuts in GHG emissions, energy cost savings, and energy resilience, particularly important when bushfires hit," she said.
"The Grampians Community Power Hub is about creating opportunities for regional communities to develop community energy projects.
"The panel of speakers for this Community Energy Forum have all had hands-on experience in community energy. They also have great stories to tell.
"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/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. They're stories about ordinary people who are literally empowering their communities."
Ms Debrett said BREAZE are looking for heroes to step up for their community.
"It's about regional communities helping themselves," she said.
"We're looking for the local champions out there - people who want to help their communities take advantage of the benefits of renewable energy.
If you have a community energy project in mind - perhaps a solar array on the local community building or hall, or solar across the roofs of a community-owned kindergarten or retirement village, or interest in solar-sharing via a microgrid or community battery - then come along and hear from our panel of local experts, about how their communities got involved in the rapidly expanding field of community energy.
The role of the Grampians Community Power Hub (CPH) - being delivered by Sustainability Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Government - is to identify community energy projects across the 11 local government areas of the Grampians region.
The Grampians CPH is building on the work of the BREAZE-hosted Ballarat CPH Pilot (2017-2020), which ultimately contributed approximately 700KW of community-owned power.
BREAZE Inc, join six other organisations in Sustainability Victoria's expanded regional CPH program:
- Loddon Mallee hosted by Bendigo Sustainability Group;
- Barwon South West hosted by Geelong Sustainability Group;
- Hume hosted by Indigo Power;
- Gippsland hosted by Gippsland Climate Change Network.
- The 2021 program also includes two metropolitan CPHs - Yarra hosted by Yarra Climate Action Network and Healesville hosted by Healesville CORE Group.
Those interested can register for the free Community Energy Forum via Eventbrite.
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