The Hepburn Wind co-operative is entering an exciting time as we work to transition the Hepburn Shire to zero-net energy by 2025. To meet this target, we are working on projects that will help our community reap the benefits of 100% renewables.
Hepburn Wind's Projects
Listening to our members
In our 2016/17 Member Perspective Survey #2, our members signalled that they were keen to support future projects. Here are just some of projects that members thought would be a good or great idea for Hepburn Wind.
Check out our portfolio below!
The Hepburn Z-NET Pilot
In 2018 Hepburn Wind became a partner of the Z-NET Community Transition Pilot, an initiative of the Coalition for Community Energy. This Pilot is seeking to make the Hepburn Shire the first zero-net emission shire in Australia and is supported by Sustainability Victoria’s Take2 Initiative. The project team delivering the Pilot includes Renew, Starfish Initiatives and Little Sketches.
The approach was first developed in Uralla (NSW) to offset local carbon emissions from stationary heat and electricity. The Hepburn plan seeks to address emissions from energy, land use, waste and transport.
The Community Transition Pilot had two core aims: To provide an expanded blueprint of how rural communities can satisfy all their own energy needs with renewables and create a masterplan (The Community Transition Plan) providing approaches to reach zero-net emissions in all sectors.
In April 2019 The Community Transition Plan was launched. Co-developed with the local community and various research, industry and technical stakeholders, the plan provides a comprehensive assessment of the shires emissions through the ZNET Blueprint. This Blueprint encompasses the full emissions spectrum and the associated opportunities of stationary energy, transportation, agriculture, waste & wastewater and land use change.
If you would like to learn more about Hepburn Shire Z-NET you can download the:
Hepburn Solar Bulk-buy
A new community solar bulk-buy has launched in the Hepburn Shire. Organised by the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance (CVGA), the Hepburn Solar Bulk-Buy is a great way for local residents to go solar. Hepburn Wind and the Hepburn Shire Council have thrown their support behind this project as a great way for residents to cut their energy bills and carbon emissions.
The bulk-buy offers an easy option for those interested in getting solar and/or battery storage. If you would like to find out more about their products or would like to request a quote you can jump on their website here.
The Hepburn Solar Bulk-Buy will also support selected community groups to go solar for free. If your community group would like to find out more contact Jo Kaptein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daylesford Lake micro hydro
Hepburn Wind is looking to refurbish the antique micro-hydro station at Lake Daylesford. The station was operating early last century, powering lights and buildings around the iconic lake. The current plan is that the antique shell of the generator will be repaired and a modern unit installed side by side to enable the facility’s output. The new turbine could produce between 12-30kW of renewable energy. The vision is to turn the micro-hydro into a tourism destination whilst also have it generating into the grid.
Hepburn Wind, will work with the Hepburn Shire Council on this project and has engaged the expertise of Australia’s largest hydro turbine manufacturer Tamar Hydro. Tamar Hydro has 30 years of experience, specialising in engineering and manufacturing of hydroelectric power generation plants and has an office in nearby Castlemaine.
Hepburn Wind has committed $15,000 from the Energy Fund and Powershop has contributed $10,000 from its Your Community Energy initiative to progress this project which is estimated to cost $45,000. A pre-feasibility and site analysis has been done as a first step.
Hepburn Wind is always looking at new ways of helping our region move to zero-net energy. After investing heavily to upgrade our grid connection at the Leonards Hill wind farm site we have been looking at the best ways to utilise this infrastructure and our existing grid capacity.
In 2017 the board of Hepburn Wind established the Future Generation Working Group who have been investigating the potential for a grid-connected solar farm at Hepburn Wind.
The team is working towards completing the planning permit application for a solar farm between 3-6MW. This solar farm would maximise use of the existing grid infrastructure at the site and enhance the economies of scale for the co-operative.
Various pro-bono and discounted services have been provided to Hepburn Wind to complete technical studies and planning permit documentation. We would like to thank the following organisations, consulting firms and experts for their services: Fulcrum 3D, Enhar Consulting, DNV GL, Engineers Without Borders, The Alternative Technology Association, Ecology and Heritage Partners, University of Melbourne, Nilsson, Noel & Holmes Surveyors Pty Ltd.
In 2018 we were awarded a $500,000 dollar grant from the Victorian State Government’s Renewable Communities Program, which will go towards capital costs of the solar farm development.
Behind the meter solar
Currently, the most common and feasible model of community solar is “behind the meter, below the load”. In this approach, the host site agrees to purchase the energy over the life of the project, thus avoiding the issue of selling the energy into the energy market. The scale needs to be less than the minimum load profile, to minimise grid connection issues and costs. These projects are under 500kW and more commonly under 100kW. We will be investigating sites around the Shire that would be appropriate for our investment and development. You can find out more about behind the meter storage on the embark website here.
Electric vehicle charging station
With the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) predicted to explode over the next 10 years, Daylesford has joined the EV revolution and become home to the region’s first free EV charging station. The station was delivered by Hepburn Wind through our Energy Fund and is an important step towards creating a zero-net energy Shire. It is carbon neutral and powered by our electricity product with Powershop.
The EV station is managed by ChargePoint – the world’s largest electric vehicle charging network. This massive network contains over 23,400 charging stations. To find out more you can read our journal here.
Solar on neighbourhood centres
Hepburn Wind has teamed up with our energy retailer Powershop and MASH to donate and install two solar systems for the Daylesford and Creswick neighbourhood centres.
The matching 3.24kW solar systems at each centre are expected to generate most of the energy consumed on site, with 90% for Daylesford and 55% for Creswick (which will have a higher export profile). These savings will unlock significant funds for community activities. These two solar arrays are expected to cut 10 tonnes of CO2 each year and thousands of dollars in network and energy costs.
These installations were made possible by partnering with the Castlemaine based non-profit, MASH, and their installer, Solargain, as well as our retailer, Powershop, and their Your Community Energy initiative. You can read our journal here.