Funding For Third Microgrid In Yackandandah

Another solar microgrid for Yackandandah

Image : Totally Renewable Yackandandah

Victoria’s Andrews Labor Government has announced funding to go towards a microgrid project in Yackandandah, the third for the town.

Yackandandah is located in northeast Victoria in the Indigo Shire Council region and is around 300 kilometres from Melbourne. While it has a small population (around 1,800), it’s a mover and shaker on the renewables scene thanks to the Totally Renewable Yackandandah (TRY) project.

TRY was launched in 2014 with the ambitious goal of achieving “energy sovereignty” for the town by 2022 through 100% renewables. Part of this includes the establishing of solar powered microgrids backed by battery storage that function with or independently of the mains electricity grid. Microgrids not only help provide energy security, but can also decrease network costs.

State Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio and Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced the grant yesterday, provided under the Government’s $10 million Microgrid Demonstration Initiative.

Totally Renewable Yackandandah was thrilled with the news.

“The $380,000 funding will support a total microgrid project cost of over $900,000 and will both support individual efforts to save money and reduce carbon emissions, but also work to deliver a tidier electricity supply in a ‘constrained’ Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) – the network equivalent of an extension cord draped across paddocks!!,” said TRY.

It’s expected this latest microgrid for “the Yack” will be operational by February next year.

“This is the third initiative in Yackandandah and a vital one that will target an area with network constraints giving homes access to solar and batteries for energy support,” stated Ms. Symes. “What we have here in Yackandandah is a community driven initiative to not only reduce our energy use but secure it through renewables.”

TRY A Template For Across Australia

Yackandandah’s postcode (shared by Bruarong) is currently home to approximately 396 small-scale solar power systems with a collective capacity of around 1.7MW. According to Independent Member For Indi Cathy McGowan, 50 per cent of the community’s households have installed solar panels.

“It’s a unique plan; it’s a first mover. It’s about distributed energy and it’s about a partnership all along the supply chain—bottom up, inside out and top down—and I believe we’ve got a template that can be applied right across Australia,” said Ms. McGowan of the TRY project last month.

Earlier this year, TRY won the Saving Energy category of the Community Innovators Awards at the Rural Councils of Victoria Summit. Last year, it scooped up the Banksia Foundation’s 2017 Sustainable & Resilient Communities Award.

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.

Comments

  1. Des Scahill says:

    Another article I read regarding Yackandandah concluded with the words:

    ‘ The successful project launch is having a ripple effect across the region, where neighbouring communities have begun investigating the possibility for creating mini grids of their own.’

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