The Energise Gloucester Committee is preparing to re-commence some of our projects as the Covid restrictions ease. No public meetings yet, so the Annual General Meeting has been postponed until February 2022. We thank those people who have already paid their annual membership and send a reminder to those still outstanding.
The Climate Change conference in Glasgow has certainly highlighted renewable energy. Hardly a day passes without information or opinion on electricity prices, solar generation, hydrogen fuel, energy use efficiency and electric vehicles.
Below are two articles you may find interesting.
Yours with energy
The STUNNING SUCCESS of South Australia’s Renewable Transition
South Australia is leading the world in green energy transition to a grid dominated by wind and solar. This has delivered the lowest wholesale prices in the country, slashed emissions, and presents no concerns on the issue of reliability, according to the latest annual assessment by the market operator (AEMO).
The AEMO report confirms that wind and solar have delivered 62% of local generation in the past 12 months, wholesale sales were the lowest on the Australian mainland (an average of $48/MWh), and grid emissions fell to a record low.
Why putting rooftop solar on low-income rooftops is an “ECONOMIC NO-BRAINER”
A recent study by the University of Adelaide suggests that Rooftop solar subsidies are “no longer required” for most Australian owner-occupier households. It argues that subsidies should be redirected to electricity hardship customers, where they would deliver a better economic and environmental outcome for all.
The study compares the net benefits of rooftop PV on low-income homes compared to those for average households. Putting solar on low-income rental properties could reduce annual grid-based electricity consumption by 40%, and cut their energy bills by about $3000 per household over 15 years.
The Solar Farm re-design is underway to improve its financial viability is underway. This is necessary due to increasing construction costs, reducing sale price for basic electricity to the grid, and high connection fees from Essential Energy. Our technical advisors, Komo Energy, are considering various scenarios around cost and sales income.
The plan was to halve the generation size and add a battery to maintain costs by enabling time-of-day sales of electricity to a retail electricity company at higher rates. For example, at peak demand times in the morning or evening the sale price might be $200/kWh (per kilowatt hour) but at midday it might only be $20/kWh.
However, a 250kW solar generation system and a 250kWh battery would have limited generation and sales but still incur high connection costs. Alternatively, keeping a 500kW generation system and adding a 1000kWh battery, should enable a much better income for the same connection costs. Of course a larger system would increase development and construction costs, but reduce the percentage for each kWh of electricity generated and sold. This will result in better financial viability.
These options are being discussed with the New South Wales Government’s Regional Community Energy team. If the redesign can be supported, the project could begin late next year.
We will keep you informed as these decisions are made.
Understanding your Electricity Bill
Energise Gloucester is partnering with the BWNG to provide help for electricity users who find it difficult to understand their electricity charges. The details in the bill from a retailer can be confusing but can help the household understand if cost savings can be made. It should also show how rates change over the day and how usage compares to similar households.
By inserting your energy bill information into the website: energymadeeasy.gov.au, you can compare what a variety of alternative retailers would charge for the amount of energy you have used. This could help you choose a retailer that will give you the best value.
Your bill can be confusing, but this project can assist you to understand it. If you would like to use this service or assist with this project, please contact Kerry Marston (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Energy Efficiency Audit
Energise Gloucester wants to assist households reduce their energy usage. For example: the types of heating and cooling and how they might best be used can be explored; light bulbs can be replaced with ones that use less energy; ways found to use electrical appliances more efficiently; and better insulation can help avoid unwanted heat loss or gain.
The assessment involves a questionnaire for the client and then a house visit, to further identify issues and possible improvements.
If you would like to assist us to develop this service, we can provide you with training to become an energy coach. If you are interested please contact Pat Burrows. (email@example.com)
Energise Gloucester is preparing a series of public articles on alternative energies, energy use efficiency, solar generation and batteries, electric vehicles, and related topics. These articles will be published in the Gloucester Advocate, our Newsletters, Facebook and our website. They will be developed into brochures to be available at markets and other public awareness events.
We are planning to have a stall at several market events next year.
Energise Gloucester is exploring renewable energy to power a solar carpark in Gloucester. This will provide shaded car parking and will generate electricity. The carparks have photovoltaic panels as the roofing and battery storage. Surplus electricity is sold to the grid via an electricity retail company. There are designs available where the electricity can also be used for electric vehicle recharge stations – general timing and rapid charge.
We are keen for this development and are discussing it with Council, local retailers, and investors. Several sites could be possible, but a lot of planning is still required. Then comes the detailed design, cost options and investment partners. If you are interested in discussing this project or helping to make it happen, please contact Alison Bencke. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lismore is currently building a similar facility with a Federal Government grant. A sketch of their design is shown. Their project cost about $600,000.