20160101 Tathra Community Solar Farm performance

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Tathra Community Solar Farm – IMAGINE generating clean and green, renewable power!

The TCSF is a 30kW solar photovoltaic installation at the Tathra Sewerage Treatment Plant. It consists of 120 pollycrystalline 250W Trina solar panels and two 15 kW Fronius Symo 3 phase inverters grid connected. The panel elevation ange is 15 degrees.

In 2014 Bega Valley Shire Council (BVSC) formed a partnership with CEFE to develop one of Australia’s first community solar farms. Through organising multiple events and broader community engagement, CEFE has raised money over many years for local community organisations (e.g. RFS fire sheds, community halls, churches, surf clubs, preschools and a tourist venue) to install solar PV. To further this work CEFE approached Council to develop a joint venture which could be a beacon to other communities around Australia for climate change action. By combining passion and expertise, the Tathra Community Solar Farm project was conceived, built and opened in 2015. The project captures financial savings and reinvests these in other local solar projects – creating a win:win:win for CEFE, Council and the local community.

The project has received fantastic support from the local community and various organisations. Community donors, including local business, helped raise valuable funds for the project, while the Tathra Mountain Bike Enduro event provided significant support and funding to make the project a reality. The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage assisted and Bega Valley Shire Council contributed half of the project cost and project managed the design and construction.

In its first year of operation the savings in electricity costs amounted to $4379 This will be reinvested in further community solar projects.

20151015 CEFE and BVSC Win Green Globe Award

CEFE'sPrue Kelly, BVSC's Daniel Murphy and Green Globe's Judging Panle Co-chair Matthew Bell at the awards ceremony in Sydney on October 15
CEFE’sPrue Kelly, BVSC’s Daniel Murphy and Green Globe’s Judging Panle Co-chair Matthew Bell at the awards ceremony in Sydney on October 15

CEFE was one of 17 organisations across the state to be awarded a prestigious Green Globe award at a ceremony in Sydney on Thursday October 15. Green Globes recognise excellence in initiatives to promote sustainability and protect the environment. The CEFE award, which was shared with Bega Valley Shire Council was in the category Excellence in Leadership and Innovation, sub-category Leadership in Climate Change.

Here is the citation:

This project, a partnership between the council and a local community group, Clean Energy for Eternity (CEFE), is Australia’s first community solar farm.

A 30 kilowatts ground-mounted solar installation, arrayed to form the word ‘IMAGINE’ can be clearly seen by passing flights. The energy generated by the panels offsets electricity used by the Tathra sewerage treatment plant and the savings are placed into a fund managed by CEFE for future community projects. This approach not only ensures that these projects are efficient and well-targeted, but maintains a clear community connection and engagement throughout the solar farm’s lifetime.

CEFE and BVSC has signd an MOU which will ensure that the the ‘value’ of  the donated panels, in the form of electricity payments that BVSC no longer needs to pay for grid power to supply the treatment plant will be returned to CEFE to fund further community solar projects in the shire.  The Tathra Community Solar Farm is the first project where CEFE has collaborated with BVSCj but is ust the most recent of many many initiatives that CEFE has undertaken entirely on its own or in collaboration with the Tathra Enduro, to equip surf clubs, pre-schools, RFS shed, community halls and churches since 2007.

 

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20150701 Thanks to all who contributed to 2015 Tathra Enduro

The 2015 Tathra Enduro Mountain Bike race was a huge success with more than 500 riders racing around the beautiful Tathra single tracks.

I would like to thank this year’s sponsors for their support.

Our major sponsors included Rubena Tyres, Tathra Beach Holiday Apartments, the Tathra Big 4 Caravan Park, the Tathra Beach Family Park, Lake Crackenback Resort, Bega Valley Motors and Bega Cheese.

Many local businesses donated local produce for prizes.

I would also like to thank the musicians who entertained the riders as they rode around the course.

Clean Energy for Eternity and Tathra Pub donated prize money for the best musical acts.

The Tathra Mountain Bike Club put an enormous effort into building and maintaining the tracks which are now some of the best single track in Australia.
I would like to thank Josh Johnson who donated a huge amount of time and expertise in running the timing and computers on race day.

The Enduro Race Committee works throughout the year to make this event a very special one.

The proceeds from this year’s race will be donated to Tathra Pre-school, the Tathra Surf Life Saving Club, the Tathra Rural Fire Service Shed as well as completing funding for the IMAGINE solar farm

Matthew Nott

20150612 Tathra Enduro huge success in 2015

It was a full two days of perfect weather and perfect competition conditions as a record 493 riders aged between five and 70 years old took to Tathra’s pristine tracks the fifth Tathra Enduro.

Saturday’s racing was all about friendly competition with the three kilometre Bega Cheese Children’s Chase followed by the Lap-It-Up five, 10 and 20 kilometre single track events.

The competition stepped up a notch on Sunday for the marathon events – the 100km King Nelba, 50km Mitas Rubena and the Tuff 25km.

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Event organiser Stacey George said the whole day was a real win for the Tathra community.

“Tathra was certainly very busy as you could see a convoy of cars with bike racks roll into town,” she said.

“It is kind of special really as you often see cars coming in to town for the weekend and you don’t know what for.

“This weekend there was no doubt as to why they were coming into town,” she said with a laugh.

“It was certainly very good for Tathra on traditionally a quiet weekend.”

But it was not just about the mountain biking.

The event was a true exhibition for riders and spectators alike as 10 groups of performers, including bagpipers and drummers, lined the 100 kilometre track to support the competitors.

“That was absolutely awesome,” Ms George said.

“The competitors loved it – some got serenaded up the hill – it was definitely something they weren’t expecting.”

Ms George said it was pleasing to see so many families turn up to compete.

“It was friendly and encouraging all weekend. It was a great representative of the whole mountain bike movement – it was not competitive at all,” she said.

“And knowing all the work the volunteers put in to it, hearing great feedback about the tracks and how people loved the tracks, it’s just heartwarming.”

Eight key organisers helped put the day together with more than 30 volunteers over the two days to make the event a success.

“The main track builders and organisers, Andrew Johnson and Tom Parks, without them and their enthusiasm, we wouldn’t have a track to ride on.

“The fact that we have an event at all is probably down to those two, their hard work and vision to build the track there,” Ms George said.

All funds raised from the day will go directly back into the Tathra community.

Thanks to Bega District News for this coverage