Shepparton solar: council to install

Shepparton Solar Farm Proposals / Council Solar

Shepparton solar – the regional Victoria town is going to follow the trend of councils going renewable and install solar power at some of their local facilities, the Greater Shepparton City Council voted this week. The jury’s still out on a number proposed solar farms in Shepparton which are being opposed by some.

Shepparton solar – council investment.

Council solar has been a hot topic over the past 12 months and it’s fantastic to see the Greater Shepparton City Council following suit – Renew Economy are reporting that at a council meeting last week a $225,500 contract to install solar panels on multiple council buildings had been awarded to True Value Solar from Melbourne. 

Cr Bruce Giovanetti made a statement about how important councils doing their part in utilising renewable energy is:

‘‘It’s great to see council is taking a proactive approach to ensuring we can reduce energy consumption costs as much as we can,’’ he said.

Shepparton Solar Farms

Shepparton Solar Farm Proposals / Council Solar
Shepparton Solar Farm (source: greatershepparton.com.au)

The Shepparton News are reporting that five solar farms in Shepparton have been proposed:

  • Tatura East solar farm (45MW)
  • Tallygaroopna solar farm (30MW)
  • Lemnos solar farm (100MW)
  • Congupna solar farm (68MW)
  • Mooroopna solar farm (12MW)

These five farms total more than $300m of investment and will produce over 250MW of power for the area – but not everybody is happy about it. 

According to Greater Shepparton Councillor Chris Hazelman:

‘We’ve heard the relevant objections from people nearby, which indicates concerns about the science, about amenity, about the alienation of agricultural land,”

Hazelman elaborated on how he thinks the dispute will end up in the courts: 

‘‘And in the absence of (state government) guidelines, it would appear that regardless of what decision council makes, either for or against … it will inevitably end up in VCAT. It’s going to make it difficult.’’

We’ve heard the NIMBY argument about ‘prime agricultural land’ from ‘concerned residents’ before (remember Photon Energy’s Brewongle solar farm?) – so it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out in court. 

A spokesperson for Planning Minister Richard Wynne said the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning had prepared advice for the minister to consider, and he would make his ruling in due course.

You can read more detailed information about the solar farm planning permit applications by clicking here

Hornsdale Wind Farm – Solar Powerpack Party!

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has attended a Powerpack unveiling at Noeon Hornsdale wind farm in Jamestown, South Australia. The Tesla South Australia battery partnership has been the talk of the nation since it was announced back in July. The lithium-ion battery is now 50% complete and will be built within 100 days of 29 September.

Tesla and the Hornsdale Wind Farm

The 129MWh lithium ion battery is being built to prevent load-shedding blackouts that have plagued South Australia in recent years, most notably in September 2016 when almost the entire state was without power at a point. These blackouts continued over summer as the government scrambled to work on energy security. It will also help

Tesla’s battery seeks to repair some of the energy security woes South Australia had to deal with – it will also help stabilise the grid while generators are started up (in the event of network issues / unexpected weather events).

The Hornsdale Wind Farm signed a grid connection agreement with Electranet on September 29 and some of the Powerpack units were already operational. As per the initial agreement between Musk and the South Australian government, Tesla now has 100 days to complete the task or it’s free – so the clock is ticking! 

If you want to learn more about the Tesla Powerpack in Australia please follow the link where we discuss Tesla’s commercial/industrial grade lithium-ion battery storage offering in more detail. 

Tesla Powerpack Celebration 29.09.2017

Hornsdale Wind Farm Tesla Powerpack
Hornsdale Wind Farm –
Tesla Powerpack Halfway Party (source: ABC.net.au via Tesla)

The party was held to celebrate the halfway point in the construction of their lithium-ion battery – Tesla invited politicians, local landowners and Tesla customers to a marquee overlooking the battery array, which is coming along nicely. “To have that [construction] done in two months … you can’t remodel your kitchen in that period of time,” Musk told the group with a broad smile on his face. The event was powered entirely by Powerpack batteries – it’s really exciting to follow this process and we can’t wait for 100 days to be up and see the results this has on the South Australian energy security crisis. 

Youtube user ‘Video2045’ has kindly uploaded a video of Elon Musk’s speech at the Jonestown ‘Tesla Powerpack Celebration’ – you can view it by clicking below!

Solar Power for Renters / Apartment Owners

An article on the ABC website has highlighted some of the problems with solar for millions of renters and apartment owners – they aren’t able to take advantage of solar by because they don’t own a roof to put solar on. What is the solution to offer solar power for renters?

Solar Power for Renters / Apartment Owners

With home ownership rates sinking rapidly as the prices rise, more and more renters are in the market and it’s becoming increasingly likely that the country may move to a more renter heavy population. In countries like Germany with similar high rental populations there are strong laws for renters with regards to their rights, price rises and much more. Will we see a similar change in Australia? If so, we will see a lot more people renting the same place for long periods of time. What kind of incentives can be offered so they’re able to take advantage of solar power as well? It’ll be interesting to see how this goes in the future, how stratas deal with owners wanting to install solar, and what the ramifications for residential solar in Australia are.

Solar Power For Renters and Apartments
Solar power for renters and apartment owners – what’s the future? (source: wikipedia.org)

Solazone have several options for renters who want to make usage of the myriad benefits solar energy can offer:

  • They have solar panels that can be installed on removable frames which will not have any affect on the roof – so if you decide to leave the property you can take them with you.
  • These can be connected to battery back up systems.

Before you start thinking about removable solar panels, if you’re a long term tenant (or planning to be), consider:

  • Is it worth opening a dialogue with the homeowner with regards to installing a conventional PV solar system on the roof, where the owner would benefit from a) the solar rebate and b) the added value to the property?
  • Is there an area in the backyard where a ground-mounted solar system could be installed?

Please note that even if you are thinking about installing removable solar on the roof or a removable ground-mounted solar system in the backyard you’ll still need to run these ideas by your property manager or the homeowner.

Solar Panels for Apartment Balcony

Low Tech magazine have an article about ‘how to get your apartment off the grid‘ which as a lot of useful information about installing solar in an apartment building.

Although the roof is generally off limits, there are some clever ways you can utilise windows and balconies to generate power. If you can adjust the tilt of your solar panels that will allow you to gather more energy as well.

If you’re interested in learning more about hte specifics, please see a two-part video below about an apartment balcony solar power setup by Ibodini2008 on YouTube – it’s really interesting!

Have you had any luck installing solar in your unit or apartment? Please let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear about it.