Bright Futures Renewable Energy Project

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An image of a person holding a light bulb in their hands

The Bright Futures Renewable Energy project is a council initiative to identify and investigate the opportunities for delivering long-term renewable energy solutions for the region. The aim of the project was to increase the use and production of renewable energy in East Gippsland.

The project received Victorian a New Energy Jobs Fund grant. The final business case report outlines the findings from the three prioritised pilot programs being:

1. The Multisite Feasibility Study (MSFS)

2. Solar Bulk Buy

3. Energy Information Hub

Bright Futures Renewable Energy Project is funded by the Victorian Government Victorian Climate Change Grants and New Energy Jobs Fund.

The Bright Futures Renewable Energy project is a council initiative to identify and investigate the opportunities for delivering long-term renewable energy solutions for the region. The aim of the project was to increase the use and production of renewable energy in East Gippsland.

The project received Victorian a New Energy Jobs Fund grant. The final business case report outlines the findings from the three prioritised pilot programs being:

1. The Multisite Feasibility Study (MSFS)

2. Solar Bulk Buy

3. Energy Information Hub

Bright Futures Renewable Energy Project is funded by the Victorian Government Victorian Climate Change Grants and New Energy Jobs Fund.

  • Gippsland Smart Futures webinar series (6 May to 15 July)

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    about 1 month ago

    The Gippsland Smart Futures Series is a free 6-part webinar series exploring Gippsland’s renewable energy future.

    The topics showcase upcoming large-scale energy developments; our local communities and sporting groups who are embracing new opportunities; to providing webinars on practical talks about financing your own community energy projects; or what opportunities are out there for you to the increase energy efficiency within your home.

    Participants will have the chance to learn more about what is happening locally, be inspired by projects within the region and ask panelists questions at each webinar.

    Register for the Webinar Series:

    • 1: Large-scale Renewable Energy Projects (6 May)
    • 2: Local Community Energy Hubs (20 May)
    • 3: Township Models of Community Energy (3 June)
    • 4: Financing Community Energy Solutions (17 June)
    • 5: Community Energy for Sporting Clubs (1 July)
    • 6: Home Energy Solutions (15 July)

    The Gippsland Smart Futures Series is a free 6-part webinar series exploring Gippsland’s renewable energy future.

    The topics showcase upcoming large-scale energy developments; our local communities and sporting groups who are embracing new opportunities; to providing webinars on practical talks about financing your own community energy projects; or what opportunities are out there for you to the increase energy efficiency within your home.

    Participants will have the chance to learn more about what is happening locally, be inspired by projects within the region and ask panelists questions at each webinar.

    Register for the Webinar Series:

    • 1: Large-scale Renewable Energy Projects (6 May)
    • 2: Local Community Energy Hubs (20 May)
    • 3: Township Models of Community Energy (3 June)
    • 4: Financing Community Energy Solutions (17 June)
    • 5: Community Energy for Sporting Clubs (1 July)
    • 6: Home Energy Solutions (15 July)

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  • Gippsland Community Energy Forum

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    7 months ago

    Tuesday 26 November, 12 midday to 4.30pm

    Lunch and afternoon tea included.

    This is a networking and peer learning opportunity for Community organisations, from across Gippsland, involved in or wanting to explore community energy.

    Groups already involved in community energy projects will be invited to share the what, how, why and who of their work. Or for groups that wish to become involved or extend their capacity will be invited to share what they need to enable them to do so.


    The forum will include presentations on exciting innovations in the Community Energy space in Gippsland including:

    Tuesday 26 November, 12 midday to 4.30pm

    Lunch and afternoon tea included.

    This is a networking and peer learning opportunity for Community organisations, from across Gippsland, involved in or wanting to explore community energy.

    Groups already involved in community energy projects will be invited to share the what, how, why and who of their work. Or for groups that wish to become involved or extend their capacity will be invited to share what they need to enable them to do so.


    The forum will include presentations on exciting innovations in the Community Energy space in Gippsland including:

    • A Community Energy Investment Fund
    • The Southern CORE Fund for donations and no-interest loans
    • Community-centred planning approaches that enable communities to co-design their energy futures
    • Feasibility assessments that enable design of renewable energy generation to match whole town demand from single site to multiple sites
    • An energy brokering platform to facilitate transactions between community scale energy generation and local customers
    • A presentation on the review of the three Community Power Hubs

    This event is being co-hosted by the Latrobe Valley Authority and the Latrobe Valley Community Power Hub.

    Venue to be confirmed will be in central Gippsland. More information and registration details to follow.

    For further information please contact: Moragh Mackay on Moragh.mackay@ecodev.vic.gov.au

  • Community Solar Donation - CLOSED

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    about 1 year ago


    East Gippsland Shire Council has received 31 nominations from community not for profit organisations to receive a free fully installed 3 to 4kW grid connected solar system. Applications have NOW CLOSED. For every solar system sold in the East Gippsland Shire Solar Bulk Buy a percentage was donated to install solar on a local community facility.

    Download the application form.

    Eligibility includes:

    • Must be a not for profit organisation delivering services to an East Gippsland community.
    • Power bills must be paid by the organisation (not a government authority).
    • Site must be owned by the organisation or operating under a...


    East Gippsland Shire Council has received 31 nominations from community not for profit organisations to receive a free fully installed 3 to 4kW grid connected solar system. Applications have NOW CLOSED. For every solar system sold in the East Gippsland Shire Solar Bulk Buy a percentage was donated to install solar on a local community facility.

    Download the application form.

    Eligibility includes:

    • Must be a not for profit organisation delivering services to an East Gippsland community.
    • Power bills must be paid by the organisation (not a government authority).
    • Site must be owned by the organisation or operating under a Committee of Management.
    • Permission to install solar must been obtained from the owner of the building prior to application.
    • The building must be solar ready i.e., suitable roof (north facing, no shading with a weight bearing capacity that can carry solar), appropriate meter and electrical wiring. Note: electrical and meterboard upgrades are outside the scope of the installation.
    • Submission of 12 months of power bills.
    • DUE 5pm Wednesday 31 July 2019
  • Community Renewable Grants: Bank Australia $25,000

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    about 1 year ago

    Community Renewable Grants: Bank Australia

    Bank Australia have announced a one-off $25,000 grant for projects working to scale up and enhance community renewable energy.

    Applications close 12 April 2019.

    More information and guidelines.


    Community Renewable Grants: Bank Australia

    Bank Australia have announced a one-off $25,000 grant for projects working to scale up and enhance community renewable energy.

    Applications close 12 April 2019.

    More information and guidelines.


  • Refrigeration Efficiency Masterclass

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    over 1 year ago

    Local businesses across East Gippsland are invited to attend a free Refrigeration Efficiency Masterclass on Thursday 25 October 2018, at The Hub, 27 Dalmahoy Street in Bairnsdale.

    It is estimated there are over 65,000 walk-in cool rooms in Victoria, potentially wasting up to 25% energy. The masterclass will offer businesses practical and cost-effective ideas on how their business can achieve energy efficient and reliable operation of their refrigeration equipment.

    The training will benefit businesses or organisations that own, operate or maintain walk-in cool rooms and provide practical real-world examples including:

    How to reduce energy costs

    Tips for working...

    Local businesses across East Gippsland are invited to attend a free Refrigeration Efficiency Masterclass on Thursday 25 October 2018, at The Hub, 27 Dalmahoy Street in Bairnsdale.

    It is estimated there are over 65,000 walk-in cool rooms in Victoria, potentially wasting up to 25% energy. The masterclass will offer businesses practical and cost-effective ideas on how their business can achieve energy efficient and reliable operation of their refrigeration equipment.

    The training will benefit businesses or organisations that own, operate or maintain walk-in cool rooms and provide practical real-world examples including:

    How to reduce energy costs

    Tips for working with your refrigeration contractor

    What to consider when upgrading

    For further information and to register visit the Sustainability Victoria website or East Gippsland Shire Council’s Bright Futures page on Your Say.

    Register to attend the free Refrigeration Efficiency Masterclass on Thursday 25 October 2018, at The Hub, 27 Dalmahoy Street in Bairnsdale.

    All welcome.

    Further information: Rebecca Lamble, Sustainability Officer


  • East Gippsland Electricity Snapshot 2016/17

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    over 1 year ago

    An infographic has been produced to help explain the electricity situation in East Gippsland. It is based on data from the Technical Report Bright Futures Renewable Energy Project 2017 authored by ITP Renewables Australia.

    In summary, East Gippsland draws 265,000 mega-watt hours (MWh) a year from the National Energy Market (or NEM for short), and puts in 18,500 mWh from rooftop solar, and 30% of electricity is used by houses.


    An infographic has been produced to help explain the electricity situation in East Gippsland. It is based on data from the Technical Report Bright Futures Renewable Energy Project 2017 authored by ITP Renewables Australia.

    In summary, East Gippsland draws 265,000 mega-watt hours (MWh) a year from the National Energy Market (or NEM for short), and puts in 18,500 mWh from rooftop solar, and 30% of electricity is used by houses.


  • East Gippsland Shire Solar Bulk Buy

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    almost 2 years ago

    East Gippsland residents and businesses can take advantage of bulk buying rates for solar technology through a new initiative being launched this Thursday.

    The East Gippsland Shire Solar Bulk Buy program, which will run for 12 months, aims to increase the availability of solar in the region. In addition, for every system sold a percentage will be donated to install solar on a local community facility.

    The program was launched at 6pm on Thursday 7 June 2018 at The Hub in Dalmahoy Street, Bairnsdale and 70-80 people attended. The launch also doubled as an information session for people interested in...

    East Gippsland residents and businesses can take advantage of bulk buying rates for solar technology through a new initiative being launched this Thursday.

    The East Gippsland Shire Solar Bulk Buy program, which will run for 12 months, aims to increase the availability of solar in the region. In addition, for every system sold a percentage will be donated to install solar on a local community facility.

    The program was launched at 6pm on Thursday 7 June 2018 at The Hub in Dalmahoy Street, Bairnsdale and 70-80 people attended. The launch also doubled as an information session for people interested in learning more about the program.

    Information sessions will also be held in Mallacoota, Lakes Entrance, Orbost, Omeo and Bendambra in June and July.

    A session specifically for the business community will be held in Bairnsdale; however, business owners are welcome to attend their nearest session.

    A bulk buy offers discounted prices for respected solar brands, due to the volume of sales. Yarra Energy Foundation will co-ordinate the rooftop solar installation (and battery storage), making it cheaper and more accessible to the community.

    A council requirement is to use local installers to install systems sold through the program.

    Details of the other two-hour information sessions are:

    • Bairnsdale (launch): Thursday 7 June, from 6pm at The Hub, Dalmahoy Street
    • Lakes Entrance: Thursday 21 June, from 5pm at council offices, 55 Palmers Road
    • Orbost: Thursday 5 July, from 5pm at Orbost Customer Service Centre, 1 Ruskin Street
    • Mallacoota: Friday 6 July, from 12.30-2.30pm Service Centre, 70 Maurice Avenue Mallacoota
    • Business session: Wednesday 18 July, from 5pm at Bairnsdale Library, 22 Service Street
    • Benambra: Tuesday 17 July, from 1-3pm at Benambra Neighbourhood House, 34 Gibbo Street
    • Omeo: Tuesday 17 July, from 5pm at Old Soldiers Memorial Hall, 179 Day Street

    At the information sessions, Yarra Energy Foundation and Jim’s Energy will give an overview of solar panels along with commercial and home battery systems available for purchase. They will answer questions on the available options.

    Solar energy has been recognised as an important way of reducing the impact of power prices while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Both are key council objectives.

    In 2017, council’s Bright Futures Renewable Energy Project looked to identify opportunities for delivering long-term renewable energy solutions.

    Following consultation with business, government and the broader community via workshops, interviews and a shire-wide survey, a range of options were recommended for East Gippsland.

    Key findings of the project were:

    • 85% of survey respondents indicated they were concerned about the cost of electricity
    • 88% of community respondents consider that East Gippsland needs to shift to renewable energy
    • 73% of respondents believed it was "very important" that council assist with a solar bulk buy

    For more information on the East Gippsland Shire Solar Bulk Buy program or to register your interest phone 1300 866 634 or visit www.eastgippslandbulkbuy.com.au.

  • Solar panels coming to council buildings

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    about 2 years ago

    Work to install 287 solar panels on five East Gippsland Shire Council buildings has begun.

    This is expected to reduce council’s carbon dioxide emissions by 123 tonnes each year, equivalent to seven Australian households being taken off the grid.

    Customer Service Centres in Lakes Entrance, Paynesville, Omeo, and Orbost, as well as the Bairnsdale Business Centre will benefit from the project. A total of 94 kW of solar panels will be installed by local company EnviroLinkAu.

    Omeo continues to experience frequent blackouts which is problem for the community and local businesses.

    A grid-connected battery will also be installed at the Omeo site to keep some services running, such as the town’s only bank, when there is a grid failure.

    The payback period for the project is expected to be between four and five years. Rising energy prices combined with the declining cost of solar products and the current feed-in tariff means solar energy is more viable than ever before.

    For households or local businesses considering solar in 2018, the likely financial outcomes for a 3 kW solar photo voltaic (PV) system should be:

    • Installed cost $3,600;

    • Annual generation 3,450 kWh;

    • Retail tariff 25 cents per kWh;

    • Export tariff 11.3 cents per kWh;

    • Amount of export 30%;

    • Annual income $720;

    • Simple payback time 5 years; and

    • Simple rate of return 20% pa.

    A study was undertaken to see which council buildings would benefit most from solar panels. It found the customer service centres, which are open during daylight hours were most suitable. Once the solar panels are installed, the centres will use electricity generated by the sun, with any excess sent into the power grid for a payment of 11.3 cents per kW. This is called a feed-in tariff.

    Community members are encouraged to consider installing solar on their homes and businesses as well.

    Further information: Rebecca Lamble, Sustainability Officer


    Work to install 287 solar panels on five East Gippsland Shire Council buildings has begun.

    This is expected to reduce council’s carbon dioxide emissions by 123 tonnes each year, equivalent to seven Australian households being taken off the grid.

    Customer Service Centres in Lakes Entrance, Paynesville, Omeo, and Orbost, as well as the Bairnsdale Business Centre will benefit from the project. A total of 94 kW of solar panels will be installed by local company EnviroLinkAu.

    Omeo continues to experience frequent blackouts which is problem for the community and local businesses.

    A grid-connected battery will also be installed at the Omeo site to keep some services running, such as the town’s only bank, when there is a grid failure.

    The payback period for the project is expected to be between four and five years. Rising energy prices combined with the declining cost of solar products and the current feed-in tariff means solar energy is more viable than ever before.

    For households or local businesses considering solar in 2018, the likely financial outcomes for a 3 kW solar photo voltaic (PV) system should be:

    • Installed cost $3,600;

    • Annual generation 3,450 kWh;

    • Retail tariff 25 cents per kWh;

    • Export tariff 11.3 cents per kWh;

    • Amount of export 30%;

    • Annual income $720;

    • Simple payback time 5 years; and

    • Simple rate of return 20% pa.

    A study was undertaken to see which council buildings would benefit most from solar panels. It found the customer service centres, which are open during daylight hours were most suitable. Once the solar panels are installed, the centres will use electricity generated by the sun, with any excess sent into the power grid for a payment of 11.3 cents per kW. This is called a feed-in tariff.

    Community members are encouraged to consider installing solar on their homes and businesses as well.

    Further information: Rebecca Lamble, Sustainability Officer


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  • Community support for renewable energy

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    over 2 years ago

    East Gippsland households and businesses have shown their support for an investigation of potential renewable energy projects in the region that could help cut greenhouse emissions, reduce power costs and support local investment.

    The ‘Bright Futures’ Renewable Energy Project has completed a stage one assessment of opportunities for renewable energy. The project has identified a range of renewable energy initiatives that could help households, local communities and businesses reduce their energy costs and support local investment in renewable technologies.

    East Gippsland Shire Council engaged Dr Rob Passey, from ITP Renewables, to identify opportunities for delivering long-term renewable energy solutions. Following consultation with local business, government and the broader community via workshops, interviews and a shire-wide survey, a range of options have been recommended for East Gippsland.

    Dr Passey ‘s report concluded that there are currently no network constraints that limit the amount of renewable energy that can be added to the grid beyond the 5kW limit by Ausnet for small systems and there are many different business models that can be used to enable uptake of renewable energy.

    According to the report, these technologies have a number of benefits beyond financial savings. They create local employment, retain electricity expenditure in the community and increase community capacity to deal with network outages.

    The report found the installation of one megawatt of solar would create about twenty job-years of direct employment in East Gippsland, avoid about 1,150 tonnes/year of greenhouse gases, and retain an additional $85,000 of expenditure in the region.

    The findings of the technical report and community consultation were recently presented informally to council and in a community forum held in Bairnsdale. Both of these documents can be downloaded from the document library on the right hand side of this web page.

    The Bright Futures Renewable Energy Project is funded by the Victorian Governments Victorian Climate Change Grant 2015 and New Energy Jobs Fund.

    The next stage of the project will finalise the prioritisation of options and develop business cases to support funding for implementation.

    East Gippsland households and businesses have shown their support for an investigation of potential renewable energy projects in the region that could help cut greenhouse emissions, reduce power costs and support local investment.

    The ‘Bright Futures’ Renewable Energy Project has completed a stage one assessment of opportunities for renewable energy. The project has identified a range of renewable energy initiatives that could help households, local communities and businesses reduce their energy costs and support local investment in renewable technologies.

    East Gippsland Shire Council engaged Dr Rob Passey, from ITP Renewables, to identify opportunities for delivering long-term renewable energy solutions. Following consultation with local business, government and the broader community via workshops, interviews and a shire-wide survey, a range of options have been recommended for East Gippsland.

    Dr Passey ‘s report concluded that there are currently no network constraints that limit the amount of renewable energy that can be added to the grid beyond the 5kW limit by Ausnet for small systems and there are many different business models that can be used to enable uptake of renewable energy.

    According to the report, these technologies have a number of benefits beyond financial savings. They create local employment, retain electricity expenditure in the community and increase community capacity to deal with network outages.

    The report found the installation of one megawatt of solar would create about twenty job-years of direct employment in East Gippsland, avoid about 1,150 tonnes/year of greenhouse gases, and retain an additional $85,000 of expenditure in the region.

    The findings of the technical report and community consultation were recently presented informally to council and in a community forum held in Bairnsdale. Both of these documents can be downloaded from the document library on the right hand side of this web page.

    The Bright Futures Renewable Energy Project is funded by the Victorian Governments Victorian Climate Change Grant 2015 and New Energy Jobs Fund.

    The next stage of the project will finalise the prioritisation of options and develop business cases to support funding for implementation.

  • Local Business session: Renewable Energy Expert - Stage 1 Findings (Monday 16 Oct from 6pm)

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    over 2 years ago

    Local business operators or organisations are invited to hear about the Bright Futures Renewable Energy project for East Gippsland and find out about opportunities for their business or organisation to reduce energy costs.

    Dr Rob Passey (ITP Renewables) will outline opportunities for renewable energy and there will be an overview about the recent local business consultations and survey results.

    East Gippsland Shire Council have engaged Dr Rob Passey from ITP Renewables to identify opportunities for delivering long-term renewable energy solutions for the region. Rob will present the technical findings and Martin Richardson will outline results from the recent energy survey...

    Local business operators or organisations are invited to hear about the Bright Futures Renewable Energy project for East Gippsland and find out about opportunities for their business or organisation to reduce energy costs.

    Dr Rob Passey (ITP Renewables) will outline opportunities for renewable energy and there will be an overview about the recent local business consultations and survey results.

    East Gippsland Shire Council have engaged Dr Rob Passey from ITP Renewables to identify opportunities for delivering long-term renewable energy solutions for the region. Rob will present the technical findings and Martin Richardson will outline results from the recent energy survey and some of the key local findings.

    There will be an opportunity to meet with Rob at the end of the session and answer questions.

    • Monday 16 October

    • 6pm - 8pm

    • Riversleigh, Bairnsdale

    • Light supper

    • Free event - but must RSVP to sustainability@egipps.vic.gov.au