Grampians Community Power Hub Launch
BREAZE Inc., lead partner on the Grampians Community Power Hub (CPH) is excited to announce the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio, will be launching the Grampians CPH on Friday the 12 November 2021. The Launch will be held at Halls Gap Botanical Gardens from 3:00pm.
The event will promote the Grampians CPH – a joint initiative being delivered by Sustainability Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Government – and introduce the local communities to the staff and volunteers working with the Hub. The Halls Gap Botanic Garden, managed by the Community Association of Halls Gap, is located on School Road, close to the centre of the township. Its purpose is to showcase Grampians-Gariwerd native flora in a welcoming garden setting.
The Halls Gap Botanic Gardens provides the ideal location for the Grampians CPH as it holds the potential for one of the hubs preliminary projects. The Community Association of Halls Gap has proposed the installation of rooftop solar PV and a battery for energy storage on the existing buildings. These buildings currently operate without power and include a visitor’s shelter, office, and workshop. The use of renewable energy ties in with a holistic sustainable management plan for the gardens and will complement the current educational objective of the gardens on native flora.
Margo Sietsma, Convenor Halls Gap Botanical Gardens said:
“We are really looking forward to meeting the BREAZE team to learn the best way to install solar power on the Botanic Gardens buildings. We are very much excited about the prospect of having lighting and power to charge electronics such as tools and laptops.”
If deemed feasible, the project will bring many wonderful benefits to the local community groups that utilise the Halls Gap Botanical Garden buildings. The visitor’s shelter, which is often utilised by local schools, interest groups and wedding parties, will have the advantage of lighting and allow for audiovisual presentations. The office, which is utilised by volunteers, will have access to lighting and the use of kitchen appliances and office equipment. The workshop will also reap these power advantages with access to lighting, charging of equipment and garden water timers.
Overall, the addition of power to the site will increase visitors to the Gardens and contribute to the local economy. The site complements the national park experience and provides ready access to popular destinations such as Venus Baths and Chatauqua Peak.
Peter Boadle, Grampians CPH Project Control Group said:
“It’s fantastic to see the Community Association of Halls Gap put their hand up for a community energy project for power to be provided at the Botanical Gardens. A big part of the Grampians CPH is being able to assist local communities with their own energy, and while this project is really quite straightforward, it is a great example of how we can help the community meet their energy needs with simple solutions.”
MORE ON THE GRAMPIANS COMMUNITY POWER HUB:
The Hub’s role is primarily about identifying projects and getting them ‘shovel-ready,’ via strategic networking and expertise – funding feasibility studies or development of a business case. Communities themselves need to drive project funding and implementation – although the Hub will assist with identifying funding pathways.
Engaging with communities across the Grampians region, the CPH will assist the development of projects that might range from small scale solar PV and micro-grids to larger community-scale battery or utility wind and solar.
Mary Debrett, BREAZE Inc. President and Grampians CPH Project Control Group said:
“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.”
UPCOMING GRAMPIANS CPH EVENTS:
An online Community Energy Forum will take place on Thursday 18 November from 7:30pm – 8:30pm via Zoom. The programme features guest speakers: Matt Vallance, McCallum Disability Support Executive Manager Infrastructure & Business Development; Bryce Ott, Community Engagement Manager, Mollongghip and District Community Power Hub; Jerry Ham, Group Manager, Uniting; and Sowmya Nagaraj, Grampians Community Power Hub Project Manager.
This event is designed to engage with communities in the Grampians region about what possibilities lie ahead in their transition to renewable energy.
Registration via Humantix.
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.