The north-eastern Victorian town of Yackandandah has marked the production of 1GWh of locally generated clean energy, as it reaches the half-way mark of its transition to 100 per cent renewables by 2022.
The town, led by community energy organisation Totally Renewable Yackandandah (TRY), has so far installed solar – and some battery systems – on more than 50 per cent of its households and community buildings.
TRY’s launched its second solar purchasing offer – this time with batteries included – in September of last year, in partnership with Mondo Power, a subsidiary launched by network operator AusNet Services to help communities shift to renewables.
Work is also underway on a state government funded mini-grid project which will trial the use of solar, storage, and smart controls to manage network security along a Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) powerline.
An earlier mini-grid in the town was installed in 2017, linking almost 200 homes fitted with a combination of rooftop solar, battery storage, and smart controls.
TRY marked its 1GWh of renewable energy generation – enough, it says, to power the MCG light towers for almost three years, based on current usage – with a celebration at the CFA Hall, which is also in line to get solar and battery storage.
“Back in 2014 we had nothing more than an ambitious dream to power our town by 100 per cent clean energy and a community that supported us,” said TRY spokesperson, Matt Charles-Jones.
“Now, more than 50% of the households and community buildings have solar panels on their roofs and we have passed a remarkable milestone of 1GWh locally crafted energy.
“We have two functioning micro-grids, allowing customers to share power amongst themselves.
“We are now working with the local community to set up a community owned energy retailer, which will help us reach our 100 per cent target.”
Totally Renewable Yackandandah chair, Matthew Grogan said the milestone demonstrated the potential for communities to work cooperatively with utilities, business and government.
“Together we can achieve great things,” Grogan said.