Wodonga Community Solar Project
RAW and Wodonga Council have been awarded funding to complete the Wodonga Community Solar Project (WSCP). The implementation phase of this project builds upon two years of planning. The Project seeks to deliver two objectives:
1. To assist low-income households through an energy benefits program.
2. To allow community investment in a solar farm of a minimum of 2 MW in size.
RAW Energy Inc has engaged a part time Project Officer to advance the WCSP.
Energy Benefits Program
The Wodonga Council local government area has the highest rate of electricity disconnections in Victoria. A part of the WCSP is to deliver an Energy Benefits Program, which captures economic benefit from local solar projects, and assists low income households in the Wodonga area.
RAW Energy Inc and the Wodonga Council are working with local service providers to create and deliver the Energy Benefits Program (pictured right).
Community Renewable Energy
The WCSP is seeking to create an opportunity for community investment in renewable energy. As a part of the WCSP, RAW is currently working with electricity industry specialists to secure a community ownership opportunity for grid connected, large scale solar, in the City of Wodonga. A prospectus will be prepared once the investment opportunity is finalised. Local investment is another way of creating local benefit through renewable energy development.
Revenue from local renewable energy development projects will help fund the long term delivery of the Wodonga Energy Benefits Program.
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 was granted to conduct a feasibility study and develop a plan for a solar farm within Wodonga that could benefit the community. Wodonga Council also added $20,000 towards the study.
Moreland Energy Foundation Limited (MEFL) were contracted to prepare a feasibility study and a business case. The aim of the funding was to identify a way that low income houses in Wodonga could directly benefit from a large scale solar installation.
With the support of a RAW and Wodonga Council project team, MEFL prepared a Feasibility Study. Stakeholders were briefed on three possible models by the MEFL team, to determine which one would be the best fit for our community. This was Phase 1 of the project and was completed with the release of the feasibility study in June 2017. You can download the feasibility study here.
Phase 2 concentrated on building a business case and was completed by MEFL in January 2018, and presented to stakeholders in December 2017. You can read the full business case here.
RAW and Wodonga Council were awarded a second grant from DELWP in April 2018. The Climate Change Innovation Grant was awarded to implement the business case. Wodonga Council and RAW are now ‘Putting the Wodonga Community Solar Project business case into action’.