Yarra Glenergy will establish community owned and volunteer run renewable energy projects in the Yarra Glen area.
This project will rely on, will be run by, and will thrive on members of the local community getting involved and making it happen. The founding members of the steering group already bring many skills – electrical engineering and installation, legal knowledge, financial and business management, project management, communication, science and research. But most importantly they bring enthusiasm for the greater good, generosity and a preparedness to make a positive contribution to our world.
Anyone who feels they share these values and objectives, and have life experience and skills that can contribute, please get involved; this is an ambitious project that can only happen through people power.
The funds initially allocated to this project will drive the first phase of Yarra Glenergy.
In this first phase:
- It is expected that a "behind the meter" project will be conducted, power generated on site, sold to the premises where the panels are installed. It is simple, it has many precedents, and the business model has had many successes.
- Expressions of interest will be sought from local businesses to have solar panel arrays put on their premises, and
- They will engage in a power purchase agreement with Yarra Glenergy to purchase this power at a rate that undercuts what they currently pay from their electricity retailer.
Income that is generated will be used in two ways:
- to reinvest in the scheme
- and to invest in other local community groups and initiatives.
Subsequent phases of this project will build from here.
They may include:
- Projects for domestic power
- Incorporate power storage into projects
- Investor and cooperative models where money is raised from the community to invest in renewable energy projects that return value to the investor
- Pursuing grants from government and corporate bodies for renewable energy projects
But at its core, Yarra Glenergy will be a community project and will always seek to directly distribute part of its income to other community groups, building town equity and fostering a strong, cohesive and resilient town.