20171210 Powering the Bega Valley

If you missed this meeting that was held on Sunday 10 December 2017 at the Bermagui Country Club you can view the presentations click here

The three presentations covered are from

John Walters who spoke on Renewable Energy Options for the Bega Valley

Bill Southwood who described the responses CEFE had received from potential commercial partners and

Jo Lewis who reviewed the options for establishing a community based power company and the prospects for solar gardens.

At the meeting there was also an overview by Bill Caldicott in which he showed how electricity bills are made up and how they can be reduced.

The resolutions passed by those assembled at the conclusion of the presentations are also included.

Download flyer here and agenda here

Tathra Community Solar Farm Performance

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.

20100310 Murrah hall goes solar

he Committee extends a grateful thanks to the wonderful members and other locals who nominated the Murrah as their Community Hall of Choice in the recent Government offer for subsidised solar power units.

Further, the Committee also extends a big, big thank you to the indefatigable Prue Kelly for her efforts in initially getting the ball rolling for the Murrah through her work in Bermigui in bring to our attention and raising awareness of the Govt offer via Pyramid Power and Clean Energy for Eternity. She also consulted, as a point of contact for applicants, providing valuable assistance in the application process. Thanks Prue!

The committee would also like to thank Diana Stewart of Pyramid Power for her support and calm assistance in the liasing and processing of our own application, which, thanks to Derek of Pyramid, also negotiated and received important support from our Council.

Recently, Diana, informed Howard, our Secretary, that the processing of domestic applications was proceeding smoothly, although there is still a wait as the initiative proved to be so immensely popular, our Government brought forward the closing date and stopped offering any more (for the moment). Pyramid still managed to process more than 300 applications on the eve of the deadline.

She went to say that it looks likely the 2Kw solar unit will be installed later this year (maybe even before Member’s Night Sept 12th) and then a bit of a wait until Country Energy connect the unit to the grid. At the moment Pyramid are currently installing units on Community buildings in the southern parts of the shire.

When we are finally connected – we’ll party. And you, our members and supporters, are invited, because, after all, you put it there.


A Big Thanks

Thank you to all the supporters, spectators, volunteers and riders who made last weekend’s Tathra Enduro such a success. We are hoping to make the Tathra Enduro one of Australia’s premier mountain bike races, and the enormous community support we have had will enable us to get there.

Well done Tathra.
Matthew Nott

Renewable Energy Under Fire

Mr Constance, you are opposed to a carbon tax. The NSW Energy Minister Chris Hartcher has said the O?Farrell government will no longer be supporting green schemes that require a subsidy. He is also calling for the closure of the federal government’s renewable energy target. Solar in NSW has been stopped dead in its tracks. The draft wind guidelines seem designed to handicap the expansion of the wind industry. Renewable energy is under attack!

You point out that NSW under a carbon tax will “suffer job losses in the order of 30,000 plus people, particularly in the Illawarra and Hunter”. The same modeling points to significant job increases in SE NSW under a carbon tax. Page 35 of the Frontier Economics report you quote lists the regions most favourably affected by the Carbon price scenario to 2020. SE NSW is almost at the top of the list. Why have you never mentioned that?

Mr Constance, you blame green schemes as the sole reason for electricity price rises.The IPART report you quote states that the major pressure on electricity prices is infrastructure up-grades, not green schemes.

Even the small contribution of green energy schemes to electricity prices will be significant for many. No one is denying that solutions to solving climate change are going to cost money. The key question is what is the most cost effective way of reducing emissions

Mr Constance, when it comes to climate change strategies, we?ve heard what you oppose. What do you support? You say you support Clean Energy For Eternity’s proposal for a solar farm. What government policy do you support that will enable a solar farm to get off the ground. That question is not politically motivated, or a personal attack, as you have stated.

You point out in your last letter to the editor that a small reduction in Australia’s emissions will make no difference to global temperatures. Are you suggesting we should do nothing?

Mr Constance, you say I am “muddying the waters”. You say it is time for reasoned and sensible discussion.

Do you think climate change presents a threat to SE NSW? What do you think is the most cost effective way of reducing emissions? I think these are reasonable and sensible questions. So far you seem determined not to answer them.
Matthew Nott

Musicians Wanted

Adam McCabe at last years event
Adam McCabe at last years event

Ever wanted to be famous? Have you thought about becoming a movie star? Do you play a musical instrument of any sort?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then mark 22 April in your diaries.

The Tathra Enduro Mountain Bike race is going to be big this year. We have capped entries to 500 competitors and some of the best riders in the country will be participating.

We are making a promotional video of the Tathra race. We need musicians of all abilities to turn up at 8:30 on Sunday morning at the water tower on Thompsons Drive in Tathra for a couple of hours. Once you turn onto Thompsons Drive, it will be obvious where to park. There will be plenty of room for parking. This is also one of the best locations for spectators.

Any musical instrument will do, and I use the word instrument loosely. Cowbells are good. Failing that, a saucepan and wooden spoon will make an excellent racket. Wind instruments and drums are perfect. We will have bagpipes, drums, horns and a choir. We need lots of musicians, and loud music.

This years Tathra Enduro will be raising money for solar panels for Tathra’s Star of the Sea church, the Tathra pre-school and more panels for the Tathra surf club. We are also looking at installing a wind turbine on the Tathra Hall (pending a development application) and and helping the Upper Brogo fire shed set up with a stand-alone solar system.

Come and support a good cause.
Matthew Nott