SA’s Resilient Hills & Coasts Community Energy Program RFP Announced

Community Energy Program - South Australia

Six South Australian councils have banded together in an effort to empower local households and businesses to slash their electricity bills and carbon emissions through the use of renewables and energy storage.

The councils are looking for the most effective delivery model for a regional Community Energy Program. Such a program has the potential to benefit a large number of people, with combined population of the regions involved at approximately 120,000.

Community Energy Program - Participating Councils

The councils behind the proposed program are:

  • City of Victor Harbor (designated as Project Principal)
  • Adelaide Hills Council
  • Mount Barker District Council
  • Alexandrina Council
  • District Council of Yankalilla
  • Kangaroo Island Council

“The initial plan was to deliver a traditional solar bulk buy program with the addition of a battery storage option, but given the rapid pace of industry innovation, Council representatives felt that testing the market through a Request for Proposal would result in a more innovative delivery model with even greater benefits for community,” says City of Victor Harbor (CVH).

In 2009 and 2013, CVH, Alexandrina Council and the District Council of Yankalilla collaborated to deliver two community residential and commercial solar power bulk purchase schemes. It was a very successful program, resulting in more than 700 installations.

According to CVH, rooftop solar power systems are  now installed on more than 40% of homes across much of the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island region. The latest information from the Clean Energy Regulator reveals Victor Harbor itself boasts 3,700 solar panel systems with a collective capacity of more than 11 megawatts.

As well as setting goals of helping participants reduce electricity costs and energy-related emissions, an important element of the proposed program will be supporting regional economic development through the creation of local employment and business opportunities.

Ideally, a program would also assist those on low incomes to participate and secure a revenue stream to fund ongoing delivery of the program.

CVH says it is “technology-agnostic” and is open to exploring all current opportunities suitable for the regions and that meet the program’s strategic objectives.

The Request for Proposal document was made available on the Tenders SA website last week and the closing date for submissions is Thursday 25 January 2018.

Resilient Hills & Coasts is a regional climate change adaptation project covering the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island region that has been operating since 2013.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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