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 region 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 exciting new projects below!
A new community solar bulk-buy will be launching in March 2018 for Hepburn Shire residents. Organised by the not-for-profit Hub Foundation and supported by Hepburn Wind and the Hepburn Shire Council, this project is a great way for residents to go solar.
The bulk-buy offers an affordable and easy option for those interested in getting their own PV system. If you would like to be contacted when the project is about to commence, register your interest 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. 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 grid capacity.
In April this year, we worked with Fulcrum3D to custom build and install a solar monitoring device for the wind farm site which was funded through our Energy Fund. This device is helping us to collect important data that will allow us to assess the merits of grid-connected solar at the wind farm site.
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 projects on the embark website here.
Earlier this year, Hepburn Wind partnered with local sustainability groups to recommend that the Shire becomes a renewable energy leader by implementing a zero-net energy target for the whole shire (click here to read our letter to the Hepburn Shire Council).
Zero-net energy is achieved when emission-free renewable energy produces at least as much energy as is being produced by an emission producing energy sources. A zero-net energy target would be a clear statement of intent from our council. This would help encourage new projects and grow support for community based sustainability initiatives.
Our region has the natural resources and the community support to implement such a target. Thanks to the current state government, a zero-net energy target would be supported by the Victorian Renewable Energy Target, which will ensure 40% of the state’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2025.
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.