A LOCAL fund to support community energy in southern Victoria is the aim of the latest initiative from the Energy Innovation Co-operative (EICo-op).
The Southern CORE (Community Owned Renewable Energy) Fund will be launched at the AGM of the EICo-op on Sunday, November 6.
Donations into the fund will be made available to communities wanting to install renewables, enabling them to cut power bills and put vital investment back into their core activities.
For example, solar could be installed at Bass Recreation Reserve to cut lighting and water pumping costs so the netball, football and cricket clubs can spend more money on what’s important to them – coaching and playing sport.
“We aim to support two community renewable projects and one conservation project to begin with,” chair of the EICo-op Moragh Mackay said.
“It is hoped the first conservation project will be at the State Coal Mine Wonthaggi as part of the Old Energy New Energy project that the EICo-op is working on with Parks Victoria.
“Once these sites are up and running we will invite more proposals and fund more projects.”
The EICo-op is working on this initiative with the Bass Coast Community Foundation and the Communities Making Energy Together affiliation of Bass Coast and South Gippsland shires, Westernport Water, Mirboo North Energy Hub and several community members.
This partnership brings a broad base of support to communities for researching, deciding on and funding fit-for-purpose renewable energy systems, making this challenging job a little easier.
“How the Southern CORE Fund will work and how people and community groups can get involved will be the substance of a short presentation at the AGM,” Moragh said.
“We will also provide detail on the Old Energy New Energy project, which involves creation of a renewable energy hub at the Mine.
“After the presentations and lunch we’ll take a walk around the site and anyone interested might like to take a tour down the mine while they are there.”
Community power projects let communities take control of their energy supply, help clean up Australia’s energy system, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs in regional communities across the country. “It makes economic sense for our region to back community energy projects,” Moragh said.