The northeast town of Yackandandah in Victoria has officially opened its new Totally Renewable Yackandandah’s Community Battery and the Twist Creek Microgrid.
The Community Battery project will supply up to 40 Yackandandah households with 100 per cent renewable energy, with 65kW solar panels and a 274kW battery system installed by TRY and Indigo Power.
It is Victoria’s first behind-the-meter, community-owned solar and battery system, capable of providing clean energy to local customers during the day and into the evening.
The project was made possible through the Victorian state government’s $550,000 investment.
“Totally Renewable Yackandandah and Indigo Power are setting a great example with their ambitious targets and work to get Yackandandah on 100 per cent renewable energy by the end of next year,” minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said.
“Projects like these show the community is keen to embrace renewables. This grassroots enthusiasm is so important as Victoria works to halve its emissions by 2030.”
The project initially received $171,000 from the Victorian government’s New Energy Jobs Fund. It was then a test case for Sustainability Victoria’s sustainable financing mechanism, receiving an additional $100,000 grant to guarantee a social impact loan provided by local bank WAW Credit Union.
The Twist Creek Microgrid also received $380,000 from the Victorian government’s Microgrid Demonstration Initiative.
Solar panels, low-emission hot water services and batteries have been installed in nine homes in the bushfire-prone area to give the households cheaper, more reliable and resilient power.
Microgrids ensure that bushfire-prone communities are well-prepared and have access to power in all circumstances.
These investments build on the Public Virtual Powerplant opened in 2018, when rooftop solar panels were installed on 10 community buildings in and around the township.
These new community-based renewable energy projects are giving more Victorians access to clean, affordable and reliable energy, while ensuring local economies benefit from the boom in renewable energy and the jobs it is bringing to Victoria’s regions, member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said.
“The Yackandandah community is working together to generate clean, reliable and affordable power that boosts local economies and creates jobs,” Symes said.