Venus Bay Renewables by Darren McCubbin

Facebook Post on Gippsland Community Power Hub (GCPH) page

On the narrow peninsular of Venus Bay off the South Gippsland Coast, electricity is provided by Venus Bay Community Centre to locals who don’t have it in times of emergency. The Centre’s new solar and lithium battery system gives hundreds of locals a place to charge their devices, have access to water, heating, and emergency information in times of increasing power outages.

Venus Bay’s community energy plan is an inspirational project on track to become one of Gippsland’s innovative renewable energy towns. The centre’s solar and battery instal is the emergency access stage one part of the community’s exciting plan to establish a community energy solar and battery microgrid to transition the growing town to a secure, renewable energy supply.

“As our community grows and together we face issues of climate adaptation, food security, biodiversity loss, increased fire and flood risk, we want to improve our sustainability and provide a showcase for community owned energy and civic resilience” said Alyson Skinner, Manager of the Venus Bay Community Centre, of the town’s commitment to clean energy change. The details of this project bear the hallmarks of smart community energy project focus  –  strong  partnerships, an eye on feasibility and viability – but under it all action and drive.

Assessment for the larger microgrid system is being undertaken by Heather Smith, Chair of Coalition for Community Energy Energy (C4CE) and principal of Changing Weather, Alyson says. Heather is working with AusNet Services who are actively supporting the project by providing local data. “This is a long-term project – we are in the initial feasibility stage – working with load modelling and industry stakeholders to initiate the project. We know it will take 3-5 years. In the investigation of this, we realised we need to become a showcase for renewable energy and become a more resilient community hub ourselves.”

GCPH is proud to be supporting this important project, providing over $50k in funding for the Community Centre’s solar panel, inverter and battery install so far. “This is an amazing partnership project, and we are thrilled to be part of projects that provide local solutions to global issues”.