CVGA November Newsletter
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Welcome to our CVGA November Newsletter

This is our second newsletter and the headline for us is we were successful in getting a grant with Hepburn to develop a proof-of-concept for the Waste-to-Energy Micro-Power Station Network across 6 Councils. Check out that article here.
For the newsletter, we’re aiming to limit the number of articles to about 7 and keep them focussed on what would be of direct interest and value to you in your job, so let me know if there’s something you really want included in a newsletter.
There is SO MUCH going on in the Sustainability space it’s really hard not to send you everything…. Suffice to say that even with Donald Trump winning in the US, the momentum for change is huge and literally unstoppable now (thank goodness!).
We are very rapidly moving beyond “doing good for goodness sake” to where the economic drivers for change are kicking-in and starting to drive serious low or no GHG intensity investment.
New technologies like amazingly cheap battery storage (tesla Powerwall 2 >$14,000), solar, wind, divestment of shares and the closure of coal-fired power plants around the world (yes, even in China!) are driving the change. There is also evidence that we are finally decoupling economic growth from GHG emissions so, despite some gloom about the US, things are starting to move very fast.
Enjoy the newsletter.

Sonny Neale
Executive officer CVGA

Funding Secured

Waste-to-Energy Micro-Power Station Network

It’s exciting to announce that our partnership with Hepburn Shire Council has resulted in $105,000 development funding from the Andrews Labor Government, Macedon Ranges Shire Council and the City of Ballarat to develop the business case for a Waste-to-Energy Micro-Power Station Network. Six central Victorian Councils can now go ahead and work together developing a network of up to 70 micro waste-to-energy anaerobic digestion energy facilities - equivalent to building a 6MW Council-owned co-generation power station in the region!
With a potential payback of under four years, an ROI of over 20%, a financial saving to the six participating Councils of approximately $20 million over twenty years (as well as cutting local GHHG emissions by 80,000 tonnes per year), this project promises to be a no-brainer for regional investment and a kick-start on our way to zero-net emissions by 2050.

The project is an expansion of the ground-breaking work Hepburn Shire has done developing and scoping the technology. Hepburn received a grant of $50,000 to from the New Energy Jobs Fund to finalise their business case in addition to $75,000 from the Collaborative Council – Sustainability Fund Partnership Program round 2 to develop the proof-of-concept for the larger regional network.

For a look at the details go to CVGA Projects page here.


Green with envy - What’s the Goss on your Neighbouring Council?

Each month CVGA will be reporting developments from local councils so you know what everyone's doing.

Adelaide City Council 'leads the way' with rollout of 40 electric car charging stations in 2017

This ABC article dated Sunday 23rd October 2017 announces the roll out of 40 new electric charging stations by the Adelaide City council. The council forecasts a growth in electric vehicle sales and this initiative is part of Adelaide’s bid to become the world’s first carbon neutral city by 2025.

The council is also contributing $5000 to citizens and businesses to install their own vehicle charging points and considering increasing the number of fast super chargers around Adelaide over time.
For the full ABC News article click here 

Macedon Ranges Shire Council - what they are doing about climate change

When Macedon Ranges Shire Council adopted a new Environment Strategy in June 2016, it committed to reducing its corporate greenhouse gas emissions by 25% from 2015 levels by 2020. Council is  highly committed to this target and is well on the way to achieving its goal.
Council’s commitment to addressing climate change is evident in its becoming a founding partner of Sustainability Victoria’s Take 2, pledging to reduce  emissions as a step towards achieving the Victorian State Government’s zero emissions target by 2050.
Council is  currently preparing a Climate Change Action Plan which will set out a program of building improvement works and other initiatives to enable council to achieve its reduction target. The plan will also outline  ways Council can engage businesses and the community to achieve emission reductions across the shire. A draft Plan will be released for public feedback in 2017.
Macedon Ranges was successful in receiving a grant of almost $10,000 through the Victorian Climate Change Grant Program in early 2016  to conduct a Revolving Energy Fund Feasibility Study. The project will investigate the viability of re-investing the savings from renewable energy projects such as solar panel installations in additional renewable energy projects. The outcomes from the project will be incorporated into Councils Climate Change Action Plan.
In partnership with Hepburn Shire and CVGA Macedon Ranges Shire will be participating in a feasibility study to convert green waste to energy at the Hepburn Bio-digester Micro-Power Station Network Project and then sending the resulting fuel back to Macedon Ranges. The shire is working towards establishing a co-generation plant of its own in Macedon Ranges.
Macedon Ranges is participating in the Sustainable Melbourne Fund’s Environmental Upgrade Agreements which, through its rates system, will enable businesses to access finance to fund environmental building upgrades.
Council is  currently in the process of changing over approximately 1800 street lights to LEDs. The LEDs last up to 5 times longer, are brighter and use up to 75% less energy. The redundant luminaires will be recycled at the Eaglehawk Recycle Centre in Bendigo.
Installations of solar panels have been progressively installed at a range of council facilities including the Gisborne Administration Centre (30kw), Romsey Kindergarten (5kw), Macedon Kindergarten (5kw) and Manna Gum Early Years Centre (5kw). The  Manna Gum Early Years Centre is one of council’s  newest facilities that includes a range of ESD features, including a green wall.
Other green building initiatives include progressive replacement of office lights with LEDs, installation of movement sensors and replacement of windows with double glazing.
Worm farms and compost bins were provided to residents to reduce organic waste to landfill and associated greenhouse gas emissions. Residents could receive a 50% discount on worm farms, compost bins and related accessories from a range of local suppliers. The rebate was complemented by information workshops. It was a highly successful program with over 90 rebates issued and approximately 45 workshop attendees.
For more information contact:
Michelle Wyatt
Environment Coordinator Strategic Planning & Environment Department
Macedon Ranges Shire Council 
T 03 5421 9678  I  M 0407 127 310


Swan Hill Solar Farm Scoping Study

Swan Hill City Council in partnership with Moira Shire Council engaged Moreland Energy Foundation Ltd. to conduct a scoping study as the first stage of a Virtual Renewable Power Stations project. The overarching  aim of this study is to investigate the use of community assets to host infrastructure that generates renewable power.

Outsourcing energy generation infrastructure to smaller communities aims to drive adaptation and investment and decentralises power generation into smaller community assets. It also reduces council energy costs and increases community empowerment, local economic development and provides the regions access to renewable energy. Click here to read the associated reports.

Articles from our Network


Environmental Upgrade Agreements (EUAs) in Victorian councils - update

The CVGA has organised for the CEO of the Sustainable Melbourne Fund and representative from other Councils in the region who have signed EUA’s to attend an informal forum at the CVGA offices in Castlemaine on the 31st of January. Formal invitations will be sent shortly.
Fran MacDonald from WAGA gives an overview of developments in EUA programs in Victorian Councils since their meeting in June 2016. Nine Victorian councils are now signed on with Sustainable Melbourne Fund making Victoria's EUAs market the largest in Australia.

There is also interest in EUAs from regional food and beverage manufacturers and we can expect that two EUAs deals will be signed outside the City of Melbourne.
For the full article click here



Masterclass: Opportunities for Local Governments in Community Renewable Energy 

As part of the Community Energy Congress Melbourne 2017, NAGA and MEFL are assisting CPA and Starfish to deliver a specific side event on the role of local governments in supporting and collaboration in community energy.  There will be presentations on the role of Greenhouse Alliance groups and a feature on the Lismore Solar Farm.


Other workshops in the Side Events available are:

Training: Business Model Development for providing tools in developing a functioning business model for community energy enterprises.
Training: Sunulator to guide you through the fundamentals of assessing the feasability of  a community solar project using the Sunulator.

For more details click here


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