THE Victorian Government’s pilot program for community renewable energy projects was launched last year and the Community Power Hub (CPH) Ballarat is ready to announce a range of projects nominated by the community that have been selected for the development of feasibility studies.
The CPH Ballarat Program is one of 3 pilot programs being jointly funded by Sustainability Victoria (SV) and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) with the intent of catalysing community owned, funded and or operated renewable energy projects in our region.
The CPH Ballarat team has identified a shortlist of projects that currently are the subject of detailed feasibility studies which includes: • Ballarat General Cemeteries – Maintenance Processes & Grounds Equipment Powered by the Sun • 100 kW Solar Array for a Tourism Operator • Waste Wood to Power a Commercial Laundry Spokesperson for the CPH Ballarat Project Control Group Ian Rossiter said, “Another 6 projects have been allocated resources to commence feasibility studies from the extensive list identified through our community engagement meetings commenced last October.
“We anticipate with the CPH funding and significant volunteer inputs, we will see a number of these translate into infrastructure projects commencing in the next 12 months.
“We are still interested in hearing from groups who might have ideas and we can provide a link-up with technical advice and with the financial planning required to see whether they can be carried forward.” Member for Buninyong, Geoff Howard joined Ballarat Community Power Hub team members to announce that Ballarat General Cemeteries will develop a renewable energy plan to power the cemetery buildings, and irrigation systems.
The project is part of a $900,000 pilot program funded by the Andrews Government to develop three, two-year pilot Community Power Hubs in Ballarat, Bendigo and the Latrobe Valley to support the development of communityowned renewable energy projects.
“The Andrews Labor Government has delivered the most significant investment in renewable energy in our state’s history,” Mr Howard said.
“With the burden of climate change impacting all of us, it’s great to see local communities putting up their hand to take action.
“Ballarat General Cemeteries Trust is working with the Ballarat Community Power Hub on the feasibility to use renewable energy to support their operation.
“By using renewable energy sources this project could potentially become a model for regional cemeteries across the state.” CEO Ballarat Cemeteries Annie De Jong said the Ballarat General Cemeteries Trust, being a not for profit managed organisation is delighted to work with the CPH program to investigate how they can move to renewable energy sources and potentially become a model for regional cemeteries across the state.
“We consume significant electricity, gas and water in our day to day operations running irrigation systems, our buildings and our plant and equipment. The Trust has a 20 plus year vision to create more sustainable methods of providing our essential services to our community,” she said.
“We are looking at these three things to see how we can be more efficient, effective and renewable. We also have a lot of land that we don’t need right now so how can we best use that land to generate renewable energy for our business.” Trust Chair Judy Verlin added that power, gas and water were the most expensive commodities.
“As we go through our master planning process for the future we have to look at the most sustainable options for us going forward,” she said.
“The Ballarat community loves this cemetery, it’s a botanical cemetery and comes at a significant cost, so we are looking at innovative ways of being able to provide the services that we do, into the future.” Further information about the Ballarat Community Power Hub can be found at: https://breaze.org.au/ programs/cph