Power-Full Beechworth

Would a local energy generation and storage network be viable in Beechworth?

Full project plan: Final 2- Power-Full Beechworth – project scope and plan, August 2020

This project will explore whether a local energy generation and storage system like a single town scale battery or a network of meter-connected batteries at households and businesses can power a community of 4,000 people.

It will determine if this new infrastructure is a cost-effective alternative to traditional fossil-fuel-generated energy and if along with being better for the environment, this approach can also improve power reliability, reduce prices and lessen financial pressure on households experiencing energy poverty.

Funding is required for a feasibility study that identifies the community’s preferred way forward and the social, economic, technological and environmental case for this.

This project is powered by a swelling appetite for renewable energy in Beechworth. The adoption of rooftop solar panels is increasing in pace and there have been successful community bulk buys for solar panels, batteries and hot water heat pumps. There is also ample support for Indigo Power, the new community-owned energy retailer.

The Power-Full Beechworth project seeks to harness this local enthusiasm for renewables to decentralise and localise the town’s energy supply in ways that increase reliability and affordability and that can demonstrate to other communities across Australia how they too might take control of their energy future.

Beechworth’s pivot to renewables began in 2017 when a group of residents came together to take action on their concerns about escalating costs, carbon emissions and climate change. They formed the group Totally Renewable Beechworth and set themselves a goal of powering their 3747 post code with 100% renewable energy by the year 2030.

Funding required: $150,000

Outputs:

  • Feasibility study including an action plan for the preferred scenario
  • Through the community consultation, Beechworth residents gain an improved energy literacy and awareness of renewables and community energy projects
  • Builds capacity and energy literacy to ensure local agency to continue the project forward