Wodonga Community Solar Project
In June 2016, Wodonga Council, in conjunction with Renewable Albury Wodonga Energy, received a New Energy Jobs Fund Grant from DELWP (Victorian Department of Energy, Land, Water and Planning). $80,000 has been granted to conduct a feasibility study and develop a plan for a solar farm within Wodonga that can benefit the community. Accompanying this, Wodonga Council has added $20,000 towards the study.
The tender has been awarded to Moreland Energy Foundation Limited (MEFL). The aim of this project is to identify a way that low income houses in Wodonga can directly benefit from such an installation. It will be the role of MEFL to investigate and identify what the options are. Community education opportunities will also be a priority. MEFL is a well-established group with many projects under its belt. http://www.mefl.com.au/
RAW Energy members Bobbi McKibbin, Michelle Wilkinson and Jenny Davies meet with Wodonga council project team Mark Verbaken, Jill Croome, and MEFL representatives on a regular basis.
Feasibility study - Phase 1
A workshop for stakeholders was held on 3rd March 2017. Stakeholders were briefed on three possible models by the MEFL team in order to determine which one would be the best fit for our community. This is Phase 1 of the project and has now been completed with the release of the feasibility study in June 2017.
Building a business case - Phase 2
Phase 2 will concentrate on building a business case and this is due to be completed by MEFL by the end of the year. RAW Energy will continue to engage with and update stakeholders during 2017.
State Parliamentary Committee
Michelle Wilkinson represented RAW Energy at a State Parliamentary Committee public hearing in Shepparton in May regarding the Wodonga Community Solar Project. One theme which cropped up from a number of participants was the complexity of the market for community energy groups in Victoria. See the link below.
Inquiry into Community Energy Projects