Victoria’s opportunity for profitable leadership in community renewable energy
Renewable power to the people could reap profits in Victoria, The Age, Benjamin Preiss , 6 Mar 17 Electricity bill shock has become a distant problem for residents in Soren Hermansen’s hometown in Denmark. It is far more likely they will receive a cheque in the mail for their power on Samso Island. The island is carbon neutral and runs on renewable energy, with power and profits flowing back into the community.
Now Mr Hermansen travels the world championing community-owned power generation methods. Most recently he was in Victoria discussing with local communities how they can harness the power of the sun, wind and other renewable sources.
Last week Mr Hermansen spent a day in the Latrobe Valley meeting with residents who are concerned about how their communities will cope once the Hazelwood power station and mine close at the end of this month.
On Samso most of the wind turbines are mostly owned by locals. The island is powered by 11 onshore and 10 offshore wind power turbines, a solar plant and three straw-fired plants………..
Mr Hermansen believes Victoria is ripe with opportunities for community renewable energy generation, including the Latrobe Valley.
He suggested the Latrobe Valley could form part of a renewable energy distribution hub, capitalising on existing infrastructure and skills.
Latrobe City mayor Kellie O’Callaghan said Mr Hermansen’s visit was a “natural extension” of discussions already taking place in the community.
She agreed the Latrobe Valley already offered sound energy distribution infrastructure and expertise that could translate well into the community renewable energy projects.
Cr O’Callaghan said an “employee transition centre” set up to deal with the looming closure of Hazelwood had already included a “vision” for community-owned and operated energy generation.
“It is based in a firm belief community ownership means no longer being subject to the commercial whims of a large multinational company,” she said.
Mr Hermansen said the Hepburn Wind project in near Daylesford was proof that community energy was viable in Victoria. Hepburn Wind is a community owned wind farm with two turbines producing enough power for 2000 homes. http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/renewable-power-to-the-people-could-reap-profits-in-victoria-20170305-guqzt8.html
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