Over the last year the Venus Bay Community Centre along with key partners Changing Weather, Mycelia Renewables, Ethical Fields and Federation University of Australia have been undertaking a significant Feasibility Study of Community Resilience and Reliable Energy.
This project started in May 2021 when we hosted a series of community forums on What does Community Energy look like for us – and developed a framework of interest – as shown below. It’s interesting to note how close to these aspirations we’ve remained with the project
FAST FORWARD 2 years – since then we have achieved a Centre of Resilience at the Venus Bay Community Centre by installing a demonstration/pilot MICROGRID – that saw an increase in solar capacity along with a significant battery system and back up generator that allows power to be provided during grid outages – providing a service to our community and increasing our safety and resilience.
The last 12 months have seen the development of a FEASIBILITY study of what community and renewable energy systems can provide for our essential energy needs, increase community resilience and develop the technical, social and economic information that will support the implementation of the study by developing a COMMUNITY PLAN FOR COMMUNITY ENERGY.
At Workshop #5 – the draft Community Action plan was presented at the Tarwin Lower Hall, and endorsed by participating community members.
The final plan, along with all the reports, technical information and community engagement and input are loaded onto the website here https://www.vbcc.org.au/finalreports
While the Feasibility study is now complete, the ENERGY JOURNEY CONTINUES – this is a long term project and it seems the community is willing to get behind it and support the way forward. A series of pathways provides a roadmap of how we can get there – together, by chipping away at some or all of these with a range of small, medium and long term actions.
Those at the workshop highlighted that the establishment of a Community Energy Coordinating Group is a critical first step – with many thanks to those who have already indicated their willingness to be involved – and with plenty of opportunity to become involved at any point in the journey ahead.
For those who may be late to the project – we were thrilled to have Mike Wilkins from 2RoadFilms document the study – and he’s produced a wonderful film of the project over the last 12 months – it really is worth spending 30 minutes viewing!
We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved so far over the last couple of years – and look forward to the shared journey ahead.