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PO Box 197, Natimuk VIC 3409

Natimuk Community Energy News


PROGRESS ON THE NATIMUK COMMUNITY SOLAR FARM!
October 2021

Over the past 18 months significant progress has been made on the Natimuk Community Solar Farm and we are now seeking new community members (that’s you!) to sign up and get involved!

Building on the considerable work of a whole bunch of community members over several years, Natimuk Community Energy's project team has been working behind the scenes to progress the design and approvals of the community solar farm. Recent achievements include securing a project site, progressing the design, engaging the assistance of new project managers and completing the detailed electricity grid modelling. This has kept us well on track to having an investment and construction ready project in 2022.

Now important project stages are approaching and we need the support of our community (again, that’s you!). In coming months, we will be working to figure out how our community can best benefit from the solar farm project and working to establish community ownership and governance structures.

If you want to see a local community owned, 100% renewable electricity power supply in Natimuk, please sign up as a member ($10) via the link below, and get along to our Annual General Meeting which will be occurring Wednesday 1st December 2021, 7.30pm at the Soldiers Memorial Hall.

Membership Sign up link

Update on Natimuk Solar Farm Project
June 2020

Click on the link below to view or download an update on the Natimuk Solar Farm Project.

Natimuk Solar Farm Project Recap and Vision

State Government Grant for Natimuk Community Energy
18th October 2019

Natimuk Community Energy has been successful in receiving a $339,000 grant from the State Government’s New Energy Jobs Fund. As a community group the costs associated with the technical studies, designs, applications fees and charges are substantial. This grant is fantastic news for Natimuk and will help us move closer on our journey and vision towards 100% renewable energy for Natimuk.

The grant will assist the project to finalise the necessary approvals, connection studies, develop detailed design and operational plans and develop a governance and financial model and market prospectus to attract investment for the construction phase.

This grant has four main areas of focus:

  1. Get all the necessary approvals (including town planning and grid connect) to enable the project to go ahead, in particular:
    • Apply to Powercor for a grid connection study (and then undertake that study)
    • Apply to Horsham Rural City Council for a planning permit
  2. Develop detailed site designs for the site – that is what goes where, site access, landscaping etc
  3. Establish legal entity for ownership and management of solar farm
  4. Developing a marketing prospectus to help attract funds to build the solar farm

This grant won’t lead to actual construction of the solar farm, that is the next phase of the project. All the steps that we are doing in this phase will get us ready to move to construction.

NCE would like to thank the State Government for this grant which is an exciting step towards our vision of a 100% renewable energy for Natimuk. NCE would also like to thank Horsham Rural City Council for their community grant of $9,361 to assist with permit fees.

Community Grant
12th August 2019

A generous Community Grant of $9361 was received from Horsham Rural City Council to go towards costs for the Natimuk solar farm project.

Delivering Clean Energy For The Natimuk Community
12th August 2019

From the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change:

The Andrews Labor Government is supporting Natimuk - a small Victorian wheat belt town - to reach its goal of being 100 per cent powered by renewable energy by building its own community owned solar farm.

Minister for Energy Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today announced a funding grant of $339,000 to bring to market a 1.6MW community solar farm and create jobs in Natimuk.

Natimuk Community Energy Inc intend to build a 100 per cent community-owned solar farm, which will be capable of producing the equivalent of the town’s annual energy needs – a huge step towards being greenhouse gas emissions free.

The project is entirely community driven, with Natimuk locals combining commercial viability, strong community participation and social equity to deliver clean, affordable renewable energy and increase energy security.

The grant will assist the project to finalise the necessary approvals, connection studies, develop detailed design and operational plans and develop a financial model and market prospectus to attract investment for the construction phase.

This funding is being provided through the Labor Government’s $20 million New Energy Jobs Fund, which is supporting renewable energy projects by providing grants to companies and community groups.

These projects will give local communities more control over their energy use and costs while creating new jobs and delivering important social and environmental benefits.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio:

"We’re working with communities like Natimuk to help them achieve their goal of moving to 100 per cent renewable energy."

"Through this grant we are empowering the Natimuk community to fully harness the benefits of locally produced clean energy and cut their power prices."

"By transitioning to renewable energy we are protecting our environment, supporting new industries and creating local employment, education and training opportunities."

Confidence in Natimuk Solar Farm Project
6th June 2019

www.theweeklyadvertiser.com.au/articles/confidence-in-natimuk-solar-farm-project

Annual General Meeting
9th May 2019

NCE held its second AGM, with a new committee elected.

Please welcome Edwin Irvine as the new President, Peter French as vice-president, Kate Dooley as Secretary, Martin Bride as Treasurer and Peter Slarke as an ordinary member.

Many thanks to outgoing committee members Cath Ryan, Leeanne Lindorff and Enga Lokey.

Tim Flannery Event
30th March 2018

AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR, TIM FLANNERY, TO SPEAK IN NATIMUK

Doors open 6:30pm Friday, 30 March, 2018

Internationally acclaimed writer, scientist, explorer and conservationist Tim Flannery will be at the Natimuk Soldier’s Memorial Hall Easter Friday to celebrate Natimuk Community Energy’s current and future projects with a talk titled "Rising to the climate challenge through empowering communities".

Professor Flannery’s lecture will be an opportunity to be inspired and informed by one of Australia's leading thinkers on our planet and its future. He will discuss how communities around Australia are organising to create sustainable energy and employment solutions. Tim will be outlining the importance of these initiatives, as well as explaining some programmes that are assisting them.

The evening will kick off with a celebration of the 10kW solar installation on the Footy Ground's Shearers Shed and a short update on other NCE projects, including a solar garden on the eastern edge of Natimuk that will produce enough electricity to power the town. Professor Flannery will then deliver his talk, and following an audience Q&A the event will wrap-up by 9.30pm.

Natimuk Community Energy thanks Horsham Rural City Council for helping to sponsor this event and allowing us to keep ticket prices low ($10 full, $5 concession) so that the entire community can be a part of this unique local event.

To guarantee your place, pre-booking is suggested via: https://www.trybooking.com/UJWN

Guests are invited to arrive early, socialise, and enjoy a drink from 6.30pm onwards. The program will begin at 7:30pm.

Funds go to support the Natimuk Solar Garden project.

NCE in the Weekly Advertiser
28th February 2018

www.theweeklyadvertiser.com.au/2018/02/28/australian-solar-first-at-natimuk

NCE featured in Powershop Cartoon
23rd January 2018

www.theguardian.com/powershop-the-communities-of-power

Silo Show

Nati Frinj Festival Photo: Melissa Powell

 

Our Partners


In addition to the generous contribution of time and effort by our community members toward the various community initiatives, we have been supported financially and otherwise by the following organisations:

Victoria State Government DELWP Logo
Horsham Rural City Council Logo
Wimmera Mallee Sustainability Alliance Logo
ATA Logo
Open Spaces Logo
Community Power Agency Logo
Planning and Environmental Design Logo