Yackandandah celebrates mini-grid power
On 8 February, the Yackandandah community celebrated a milestone of 1 GWh of renewable energy generated from what is claimed to be one of Australia’s first community mini-grids. The achievement is the result of an ongoing partnership with Mondo Power, local residents and Totally Renewable Yackandandah (TRY), a community group formed in 2014 as a result of a community energy forum in Yackandandah, organised by Indigo Shire Council.
Supported by Selectronic, the event saw the launch of an energy storage installation at Yackandandah’s fire station to lower Country Fire Authority power costs and provide a secure power supply during power outages. Selectronic CEO Rod Scott was present on the day to celebrate with residents and representatives from TRY and Mondo Power. Independent Federal Member for Indi Cathy McGowan also attended, along with local and state members. Scott presented Yackandandah Primary School students with a set of solar and renewable energy educational toys as a gift from Selectronic.
Scott commented, “We are extremely proud that Selectronic SP PRO inverters and Selectronic-certified Fronius inverters are installed in nearly all properties forming the mini-grid, along with many off-grid installations across the region. This achievement is well deserved and a big step towards Yackandandah’s goal of 100% renewable energy by 2022. The fire station is of course a crucial part of the community, so we wanted to help TRY and Mondo Power make this new installation a reality.”
TRY spokesperson Matt Charles-Jones said community energy offers a positive solution for towns and regions to take the power back. “While federal politics remains in a bitter energy gridlock, we decided that the local community can lead the way. And Yackandandah has been a world leader in the clean energy transition,” he said. “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% target.”
TRY aims to work with organisations, businesses, individuals and energy stakeholders in the community to reduce energy consumption and enable renewable energy generation and storage. The group envisions that its work will strengthen the cohesion and resilience of the local community.
MP Cathy McGowan said, “This trailblazing project is an important proof point, not only for Indi but for the rest of Australia, that when community, industry and government work together we can make real strides forward in achieving a reliable, renewable, affordable energy future.”
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