Newsletter – March 2020

Dear Community Energy Enthusiasts,

What an unprecedented year so far.
2020 started with much uncertainty as many people around Australia battled the threat or reality of the bushfires this summer. Then came the floods in many places and now we’re dealing with the global pandemic of COVID-19 that means we need to physically distance ourselves. In these challenging times, we hope you have virtual connections to keep spirits up.

We will be forging ahead with our work to drive a faster and fairer transition to clean energy in Australia (adjusted for the circumstances) for several reasons. Firstly because that is our purpose, but now more than ever because decentralised renewable energy can deliver economic benefits to regional areas, help our communities to be more resilient in times of extreme weather events and ensure we are more in control of our futures.

Read on for four exciting updates.

– Kristy
And all the Community Power Agency team: Fran, Jarra, Tom, Ella, Elizabeth and Kim!

Funding for Solar Gardens project!

We are very excited to announce that Community Power Agency in joint partnership with Pingala and Komo Energy have been awarded grant funding in the NSW Government Regional Community Energy Fund for a solar garden project.

The Haystacks Solar Garden will see the establishment of a 1MW solar array that will allow approximately 300 “locked out” energy users to access the benefits of solar for the first time. A solar garden is like a community garden but instead of growing veggies members get to harvest their own energy. We have progressing the idea of solar gardens in our fairer for all agenda for a few years now so it is gratifying to see this project secure funding.

It will be in the Riverina on the edge of the small town of Grong Grong. In the coming weeks we will be holding community meetings, get in touch if you live in the Riverina and want to get involved or find out more information.

Our New Staff Member – Kim Mallee

We are very pleased to announce that Kim Mallee has joined the CPA team as our Haystacks Project Manager!

Kim will be working closely with our project partners as well as the communities across the Riverina to help make the first community-owned solar garden in Australia a reality.

She brings with her a wealth of experience from local government and the corporate sector, as well as grassroots community engagement. Kim is based in the beautiful Northern Rivers region and is passionate about sustainability and supporting renewable energy projects that create lasting positive change in our communities.
Welcome Kim!

Jarra taking leave

Our final piece of exciting news is that Jarra Hicks will be having a baby in April and will be taking time off to be with her growing family.

We are thrilled to welcome another addition to the expanding CPA family and wish her and her partner all the best in the coming new adventure.

Congratulations to all the RCEF projects

We are amongst great company in our successful grant application through the Regional Community Energy Fund. In total the program awarded funding to seven projects in NSW which will unlock nearly 17.2MW of electricity generation and up to 17.9MW/39.3MWh of energy storage.

It’s encouraging to see community energy expand in NSW. Congratulations to the other projects:

  • Manilla Community Renewable Energy (photo below)
  • Energise Gloucester
  • Community Energy for Goulburn
  • Orange Community Renewables/ ITP-NHT Dev Co
  • Enova Community Energy Ltd
  • Byron Bay Solar Farm Holdings

All the best for the coming weeks as we all navigate the changed way of our world.
– CPA team.