Exciting times are ahead for community energy projects with this boost of funds and capacity potentially across all regions of the state. We are keen to connect with community energy groups and supportive organisations to ensure these hubs are the best they can be.
We have a lot of experience in the governance space and are happy to offer pro bono group facilitation advice and networking to develop successful collaborations to apply for these Victorian Hubs. Next Thursday we are running a free online session about good collaborative governance, email us for the details.
If you’re a community energy group or other organisation that would like to be involved in one of the Hubs – either to be a Lead Partner, offer your organisation’s support or to add your implementation ready project to a Hub application – please get in touch. See other community energy groups on our community energy map here.
For everyone else not in Victoria – join the campaign to Repower Our Communities – to win Community Power Hubs in every state and territory of Australia!
Here’s to taking the power into our own hands,
For the whole Community Power Agency team – Kim, Ella, Elizabeth, Fran and Jarra.
It’s been a busy few weeks for our team, with a trip to Parliament House and regional Victoria since this webinar two weeks ago. Apologies for the delay in getting this recording of the webinar out to all of you.
For those interested in further resources and guides, there are many options:
Community Power Agency resources section We offer workshops, training and other services to help you to develop your community energy project in line with the vision and context of your community. We regularly work with councils and non-profits also.
We are well and truly in the thick of things, learning, exploring and growing our networks, resources and projects both within Community Power Agency and for all the wonderful groups we have the pleasure of connecting with.
Learning – new resources for community energy available, some interesting webinars for North Queenslanders and extending our support for Indigenous communities,
Exploring – in the Riverina with face-to-face events for the Haystacks Solar Garden project, facilitating a Community Benefit Sharing Initiative and potential new projects,
Growing – a grant opportunity and meet our newest, smallest and cutest Community Power Agency fan!
Read on for all the details,
All the best from all of the team at Community Power Agency
– Kristy, Kim, Ella, Elizabeth, Fran, Tom and Jarra
Community Power Hub Resources
If you have been following the three Community Power Hubs in Victoria you’ll know they produced an amazing amount of achievements including 15 community energy projects financed and commissioned which resulted in 1.35MW of renewable energy capacity installed and savings of $364,000 in electricity bills each year.
In fact within the two-year pilot period the program generated more than $14.5 million of value, creating a 13-1 leverage on the government investment for the program. They have now uploaded many of the resources produced at the Hubs to share the learnings with the whole community energy sector – find all the resources here.
Transition Webinars for North Queensland
Our good friends at The Next Economy are hosting a series of public forums to explore the impact that changes to the energy system are having on regional communities across Queensland.
If you’re connected to communities in Townsville or Cairns join the online webinars to learn about the types of energy projects that are happening locally, and what’s needed to ensure a secure, affordable and accessible energy supply. A mapping exercise will be facilitated through groups in a separate break out session to explore new opportunities for their region. Kristy will be speaking at both events giving an overview of changes to the energy sector.
Building a Stronger Economy for CairnsForum on Friday 31st July: More details and to register here
Townsville Energy Transition Forum on Friday 7th August: More details and to register here
Black Lives Matter
Spurred by the killing of George Floyd at the hands of US police, the past few months has seen the Black Lives Matter movement build rapidly across the world. This topic is just as relevant in Australia with our own racial injustices and police violence toward the First Nations people of this land.
One way Community Power Agency is standing in solidarity with the First Nations people is by Paying the Rent. For this past year we will donate 1% of our surplus to Indigenous led organisations, moving to 1% of our total income from next year.
This week Kristy and Nigel from Pingala are heading to the Riverina for some in-person community meetings and catch ups with folks we’ve only met over the phone for the Haystacks Solar Garden. If you’re near Narrandera or Wagga Wagga come along to have a chat about the project on Saturday 18th July – more details and to register visit the Haystacks website.
We are also excited to share that Pingala, our project partner for the Haystacks project has started developing a future solar gardens project pipeline. If you or your group are interested in participating in a solar garden and you live outside the Riverina area, let them know via the Pingala website here.
A pioneering community benefit sharing initiative!
The 720MW New England Solar Farm grid connection agreement has been finalised!With this news the feasibility and implementation phase of UPC’s Community Benefit Sharing Initiative (CBSI) is now commencing. Upon community request, we were thrilled to be invited back to Uralla in early July to facilitate the first of a series of workshops with the newly established Community Reference Group to deliver this next phase of the CBSI. Jarra and Fran had a wonderful time supporting the initial development of the CBSI in 2018 which resulted in an options paper outlining the communities recommendations. Now Ella and Fran are continuing this pioneering project, supporting the feasibility and implementation of the CBSI guided by the options paper and the community reference group.
Grant opportunity for bushfire affected communities
The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) is offering grants of up to $25,000 to support local not-for-profit organisations and community groups that are delivering locally led projects and activities to assist people in their recovery as a result of the 2019/2020 bushfires. The program seeks to fund projects including:
Community infrastructure and equipment that strengthens volunteer community groups and their activities;
Emergency equipment and facilities (excludes individual aid);
Mental health and wellbeing; and
Rebuilding communities – from infrastructure repairs or upgrades, to governance, capacity building or operational support.