At the halfway point of a huge task to create a town 100 per cent reliant on renewable energy, Totally Renewable Yackandandah is still confident it can happen.
The community group started working four years ago and is on track to meet the goal by 2022.
TRY chair Matt Grogan said the ambitious target could be met by transforming people’s thoughts and actions on energy.
“It’s really hard to shift a really well-formed system of coal-fired generation and the electricity grid that’s been very user friendly for 60 or 80 years,” he said.
The latest step was a bulk buy solar offer presented to Yackandandah residents last week.
They can buy a solar and “ubi” computer system, which can monitor and control solar energy use, for between $5000 and $10,000.
About 120 households took up the previous bulk buy offer 18 months ago and TRY was hoping for similar numbers this time.
A big crowd of about 70 people attended a community information meeting on Wednesday evening, after a smaller meeting during the day.
Batteries to store solar power for use at night were also on offer for between $13,000 and $16,000, but Mondo Power’s Mark Judd said it might be best to wait as he expected prices to drop significantly in the next year.
He said a solar farm would be built in Yackandandah during the net four years, to help meet the requirements of being 100 per cent renewable, and residents would be able to purchase a small piece of energy from that farm for their own use.
This could allow renters or low-income earners to also rely on solar energy.
Trading of the energy will be facilitated by the newly launched community energy retailer called Indigo Power.
“We’re working really hard at TRY to lobby for more of those (government) subsidies to come into the communities, to be the leader in the uptake of batteries,” Mr Grogan said.
“They will become more viable and we’re positioning ourselves to be shovel-ready.”
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