Local, Independant and Effective

Indi's Renewable Energy efforts are a template for Australia

Posted September 12, 2018


Totally Renewable Yackandandah and the many renewable and sustainable groups in Indi have created a framework for national strategy on energy policy. Watch Cathy's speech below. 


Ms McGOWAN (Indi) (11:11):  Colleagues, can I have your attention, because I want to tell you about one of the most exciting, innovative projects being undertaken in Australia. It's in my electorate of Indi and it's called Towards a Totally Renewable Indi. 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.

So let me give you some statistics, colleagues. In Yackandandah, the epicentre of this project, 50 per cent of the community of 1,200 households are on solar. There are 170 smart-controlled devices, Ubis, that are managing voltage. We've got two commercial minigrids—in Yackandandah, funded by Mondo, and in Osbornes Flat, funded by ARENA. These wonderful microgrids combine poles and wire, storage, generation, smart-controlled devices, and, of course, people and customers.

But, colleagues, the real aspect of this that's so important is our community retailer. The community retailer is what actually makes this so special. In my electorate of Indi we've got 650 people who have signed up to a locally owned and locally operated retailer. So let's talk a bit about community retailer objectives for north-east Victoria. We have a number of things that we're trying to do. We're talking about a really effective transition to renewables, prototypes of sharing electricity around a community and setting up a trading platform in this way, locally generated electricity, social and economic development and empowering local communities. I know this is something every member of this parliament wants to see. So let me give you a bit more detail.

One of the wonderful things that have happened in my electorate is we've got the community engaged in renewables, in having effective, efficient and price-sensitive electricity in a sustainable way. So I say to the Prime Minister, these are not and/or; we can do this together. My community has worked so hard, and I need to acknowledge that. I want to say to the people from Yackandandah who are here today: terrific work. To our previous Prime Minister, the former member for Wentworth: what a fantastic job you did for this country with your work on the NEG. I'm so sad it hasn't got where it needs to go. To the member for Kooyong: thank you for visiting Yackandandah and giving your support to what we know is going to be the way of the future for community controlled energy, sustainability, price sensitivity and, most importantly, for giving customers the ability to choose where they want to go with their energy. It's a prototype that I put out to all my colleagues. Pay attention to what's happening in Indi.

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