Repower Noosa Renewable Energy Industry Cluster

Introduction remarks -

Breakout session at August 11, 2018 Campaigns Workshop.

Participants:  Roman Roudonikis, Peter Blessing

INITIAL PLANNING MEETING
 

The planning session can be based on a Strategic Conversation approach.  Refer to the guidance section in the embedded document below.

Following the Strategic Conversation, a Proforma or Campaign Brief can be prepared (see bottom of this page)

 

WHERE ARE WE NOW? - EXPLORE THE SITUATION
 

 


 

 

WHERE DO WE WANT TO BE? - CREATE ASPIRATION
 

 


 

HOW DO WE GET THERE? - DETERMINE STRATEGIES
 

 


 

WHAT STEPS DO WE NEED TO TAKE? - DETERMINE ACTION PLANS
 

 


 

 

These are notes from previous conversations....

(empty vessel for notes)

 

 

CAMPAIGN BRIEF
This can be developed after the strategic conversation.

This is suggested as a standard way of describing all Repower Noosa / Zero Emissions Noosa programs.

It should be no longer than 2 pages.

It can be included as an appendix in the Roadmap Report

Together with other programs it will the subject of the Community Workshop on August 11.

 


 

The following embedded document shows guidance for how to conduct a strategic conversation

 

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Renters and Low Income Households

Introduction remarks -

Commenced at August 11, 2018 Campaigns Workshop.

Participants:  Vivien Griffin, Geoff Black

INITIAL PLANNING MEETING
 

The planning session can be based on a Strategic Conversation approach.  Refer to the guidance section in the embedded document below.

Following the Strategic Conversation, a Proforma or Campaign Brief can be prepared (see bottom of this page)

 

WHERE ARE WE NOW? - EXPLORE THE SITUATION
 

 


 

 

WHERE DO WE WANT TO BE? - CREATE ASPIRATION
 

 


 

HOW DO WE GET THERE? - DETERMINE STRATEGIES
 

 


 

WHAT STEPS DO WE NEED TO TAKE? - DETERMINE ACTION PLANS
 

 


 

 

These are notes from previous conversations....

(empty vessel for notes)

 

 

CAMPAIGN BRIEF
This can be developed after the strategic conversation.

This is suggested as a standard way of describing all Repower Noosa / Zero Emissions Noosa programs.

It should be no longer than 2 pages.

It can be included as an appendix in the Roadmap Report

Together with other programs it will the subject of the Community Workshop on August 11.

 


 

The following embedded document shows guidance for how to conduct a strategic conversation

 

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Noosa Tourism

Introduction remarks -

Commenced at August 11, 2018 Campaigns Workshop.

Participants:  Michael Davis, Sheelin Coates, Kerri Watson & Maxine Parry.

INITIAL PLANNING MEETING
 

The planning session can be based on a Strategic Conversation approach.  Refer to the guidance section in the embedded document below.

Following the Strategic Conversation, a Proforma or Campaign Brief can be prepared (see bottom of this page)

 

WHERE ARE WE NOW? - EXPLORE THE SITUATION
 

 


 

 

WHERE DO WE WANT TO BE? - CREATE ASPIRATION
 

 


 

HOW DO WE GET THERE? - DETERMINE STRATEGIES
 

 


 

WHAT STEPS DO WE NEED TO TAKE? - DETERMINE ACTION PLANS
 

 


 

 

These are notes from previous conversations....

(empty vessel for notes)

 

 

CAMPAIGN BRIEF
This can be developed after the strategic conversation.

This is suggested as a standard way of describing all Repower Noosa / Zero Emissions Noosa programs.

It should be no longer than 2 pages.

It can be included as an appendix in the Roadmap Report

Together with other programs it will the subject of the Community Workshop on August 11.

 


 

The following embedded document shows guidance for how to conduct a strategic conversation

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Academic ZEN

Introduction remarks -

 

INITIAL PLANNING MEETING
 

The planning session can be based on a Strategic Conversation approach.  Refer to the guidance section in the embedded document below.

Following the Strategic Conversation, a Proforma or Campaign Brief can be prepared (see bottom of this page)

 

WHERE ARE WE NOW? - EXPLORE THE SITUATION
 

 


 

 

WHERE DO WE WANT TO BE? - CREATE ASPIRATION
 

 


 

HOW DO WE GET THERE? - DETERMINE STRATEGIES
 

 


 

WHAT STEPS DO WE NEED TO TAKE? - DETERMINE ACTION PLANS
 

 


 

 

These are notes from previous conversations....

(empty vessel for notes)

 

 

CAMPAIGN BRIEF
This can be developed after the strategic conversation.

This is suggested as a standard way of describing all Repower Noosa / Zero Emissions Noosa programs.

It should be no longer than 2 pages.

It can be included as an appendix in the Roadmap Report

Together with other programs it will the subject of the Community Workshop on August 11.

 


 

The following embedded document shows guidance for how to conduct a strategic conversation

 

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Noosa Community Facilities Eco Initiative

Introduction remarks -

In campaign Zero Emissions Noosa Inc will work with ecoBiz,  the Noosa Council and the University of Queensland work placement student (Jennifer Kerr)  to engage with a minimum of 10 community groups that occupy Noosa Council owned buildings to deliver a sustainability action plan, based around the ecoBiz Coaching report .

The Sustainability plan will baseline the Community groups Building Sustainability performance, for ( Energy , Water and Waste) metrics, it will identify actions that will reduce energy usage, water usage, and waste generation. 
The action plan will also identify the renewable capability of the Community Group to achieve ZERO emissions.

INITIAL PLANNING MEETING
Jennifer Kerr, Annie Nolan, Belinda Simonsen, Michael Davis, Geoff Acton - 1 August 2018

The planning session can be based on a Strategic Conversation approach.  Refer to the guidance section in the embedded document below.

Following the Strategic Conversation, a Proforma or Campaign Brief can be prepared (see bottom of this page)

 

WHERE ARE WE NOW? - EXPLORE THE SITUATION
 


 

 

WHERE DO WE WANT TO BE? - CREATE ASPIRATION
 


 

HOW DO WE GET THERE? - DETERMINE STRATEGIES
 


 

WHAT STEPS DO WE NEED TO TAKE? - DETERMINE ACTION PLANS
 


 

 

These are notes from previous conversations....

(empty vessel for notes)

 

CAMPAIGN BRIEF
This can be developed after the strategic conversation.

This is suggested as a standard way of describing all Repower Noosa / Zero Emissions Noosa programs.

It should be no longer than 2 pages.

It can be included as an appendix in the Roadmap Report

Together with other programs it will the subject of the Community Workshop on August 11.


 

The following embedded document shows guidance for how to conduct a strategic conversation

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Roadmap Modelling Scenarios

Here goes the excerpt for the draft scenarios

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Large Consumers

Introduction remarks -

 

INITIAL PLANNING MEETING

The planning session can be based on a Strategic Conversation approach.  Refer to the guidance section in the embedded document below.

Following the Strategic Conversation, a Proforma or Campaign Brief can be prepared (see bottom of this page)

 

WHERE ARE WE NOW? - EXPLORE THE SITUATION
 


 

 

WHERE DO WE WANT TO BE? - CREATE ASPIRATION
 


 

HOW DO WE GET THERE? - DETERMINE STRATEGIES
 


 

WHAT STEPS DO WE NEED TO TAKE? - DETERMINE ACTION PLANS
 


 

 

These are notes from previous conversations....

 

CAMPAIGN BRIEF
This can be developed after the strategic conversation.

This is suggested as a standard way of describing all Repower Noosa / Zero Emissions Noosa programs.

It should be no longer than 2 pages.

It can be included as an appendix in the Roadmap Report

Together with other programs it will the subject of the Community Workshop on August 11.


 

The following embedded document shows guidance for how to conduct a strategic conversation

Print Friendly and PDF

Noosa Shire Businesses

Introduction remarks - this encompasses campaign for Noosaville Industrial Estate (??? and Cooroy ???) plus commercial businesses.

Keeping Tourism separate for now - see (insert link when set up)

 

INITIAL PLANNING MEETING

Vivien Griffin, Anne Kennedy - Tuesday 24 July

The planning session can be based on a Strategic Conversation approach.  Refer to the guidance section in the embedded document below.

Following the Strategic Conversation, a Proforma or Campaign Brief can be prepared (see bottom of this page)

 

WHERE ARE WE NOW? - EXPLORE THE SITUATION

 

 

 

WHERE DO WE WANT TO BE? - CREATE ASPIRATION

 

 

HOW DO WE GET THERE? - DETERMINE STRATEGIES

 

 

WHAT STEPS DO WE NEED TO TAKE? - DETERMINE ACTION PLANS

 

 

 

These are notes from previous conversations....

(empty vessel for notes)

 

CAMPAIGN BRIEF

This can be developed after the strategic conversation.

This is suggested as a standard way of describing all Repower Noosa / Zero Emissions Noosa programs.

It should be no longer than 2 pages.

It can be included as an appendix in the Roadmap Report

Together with other programs it will the subject of the Community Workshop on August 11.

 

The following embedded document shows guidance for how to conduct a strategic conversation

Print Friendly and PDF

Schools including tertiary, secondary, primary & early learning/childcare

Student counts from MySchool website.

*** TO DO ***
Add in known Solar PV
Government - source from Solar Schools
Annie Nolan says some pre-schools/daycare may be council owned buildings
Dalia - can we source grid kWh for state schools from Solar Schools data?
 

Initial Planning Meeting

Roman Raudonikis, Matt Harold, Gareth Duggan, Dalia Mikhail, Geoff Acton

The planning session can be based on a Strategic Conversation approach.  Refer to the guidance section in the embedded document below.

Following the Strategic Conversation, a Proforma or Campaign Brief can be prepared (see bottom of this page)

 

 

Where are we now? - Explore the Situation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where do we want to be? - Create Aspiration

 

 

 

 

How do we get there? - Determine Strategies

 

 

 

What steps do we need to take? - Determine Action Plans

 

 

 

These are notes from previous conversations....

Campaign brief

This can be developed after the strategic conversation.

This is suggested as a standard way of describing all Repower Noosa / Zero Emissions Noosa programs.

It should be no longer than 2 pages.

It can be included as an appendix in the Roadmap Report

Together with other programs it will the subject of the Community Workshop on August 11.

The following embedded document shows guidance for how to conduct a strategic conversation.

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The sectors of Noosa

So the purpose is to stratify Noosa into manageable chunks so we can see how we can apply the various options in Rob Passey's Roadmap report.  See - Chapter 7

As different segments of the Noosa "marketplace" will have different requirements, it makes sense to identify them so that programs can be better evaluated and targeted, and potential delivery partners identified.

Thanks to Michael Davis, Dalia Mikhail & Geoff Acton for contributing to these lists.

Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 4.30.21 pm.png

 

 

Note for information about schools and other educational institutions, please refer to the Schools Program page.

    Plus we know some areas where either we're started or have a desire, eg

    • Schools - group is planned
    • Tourism Noosa - strategic conversations planned
    • Cooran - very interested, ready to engage
    • Industrial estates - Vivien wants to lead
    • Community Buildings - Grad student Jennifer to start in July
    • Repower Noosa - The Social Deck - cofunded Noosa Council + Installers
    • Noosa Council initiatives - EUAs, Solar Bulk Buy
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    Draft Roadmap Report - Chapter 1

    1.    INTRODUCTION

    Over the last five to ten years the cost of renewable energy (RE) technologies, in particular solar photovoltaics (PV), has declined significantly. Solar PV is a modular technology, meaning it can be deployed at any scale, from smaller household systems commonly between 1 kW and 10 kW, through systems suitable for a local business, to large-scale ground-mounted systems that range from 100 kW to tens or even hundreds of MWs.
    The suitability of PV for smaller systems has opened up opportunities for individuals and communities to generate their own electricity. More recently, the price of batteries has declined significantly, and there has been progress in the development of energy management systems, which allows PV, batteries and other technologies such as solar water heaters to be integrated into effective distributed energy systems.

    Other renewable energy technologies such as wind, hydro, bioenergy, tidal and wave power have also seen advances, with wind and hydro available as smaller-scale options suitable for household and community distributed energy. 

    These technologies have a number of benefits beyond financial savings. They create local employment, which can occur directly when they are installed, as well as indirectly because less money leaves the community in the form of electricity bills – meaning that more money remains to circulate through the local economy, which creates additional employment. 
    They can also provide local resilience, where the integration of batteries can provide support to the electricity network during times of peak demand, and maintain power supplies in the event of loss of the network. This is not only more convenient but can be critical in times of emergency response.

    1.1.    This Report

    Zero Emissions Noosa (ZEN) has received funding from the Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation for the project ‘Roadmap to Achieving 100% Renewable Energy for Noosa Biosphere’. The aim of this project is to identify the most efficient and cheapest mix of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures needed to eliminate all carbon dioxide emissions arising from electricity consumption in the Noosa Shire by 2026. This Report aims to form the foundation of ZEN’s project and is divided into the following Sections:

    • Section 2 (Current Electricity Grid, Use & Solar) characterises the existing electricity grid and the total amount of electricity used in Noosa Shire as well as the current renewable energy generation in the region.
    • Section 3 (Modelling Renewable Energy Technology Options) describes the modelling undertaken to characterise the possible mixes of electricity generation and energy efficiency required to achieve ZEN’s 100% renewable energy target by 2026.
    • Section 4 (High Level Issues) then discusses issues that should be taken into consideration regarding: the additionality of Noosa’s renewable energy to legislated targets; whether the Federal renewable energy target reduces the amount of renewable generation required to reach 100%; which renewable energy generation can be claimed towards the 100% RE target; and whether the renewable energy systems be owned by the community within Noosa Shire.
    • Section 5 (Business models) then discusses the range of business models and other approaches which may be relevant for increasing renewable energy in Noosa. These range from ways to drive uptake at the household level through to larger-scale options.
    • Section 5 (What Can Noosa do?) then recommends specific actions that the local community and Noosa Council can undertake. After discussing how the provision of information can be used to drive uptake of both energy efficiency and renewable energy, it proposes specific options that can be used to enable uptake of residential-scale renewable energy, then commercial-scale, then large-scale and some opportunities for community ownership.
    • Section 7 (Discussion & Recommendations) then concludes the report by summarising the main outcomes and actions suggested for Noosa.
       
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    Draft Roadmap Report - Chapter 7

    7.    DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Increasing the uptake of renewable energy in Noosa Shire in a way that maximises local benefits is certainly not a trivial task. A key aim is to create an environment where local people and businesses wish to invest in renewable energy, energy efficiency and enabling technologies. ZEN and Noosa Council have a key role to play, primarily as facilitators, but Council can also lead the way through installing solar PV on their own buildings – which they are currently in the process of doing. 

    Based on the availability of renewable energy resources, the vast majority of renewable generation will be from solar PV, which can be located throughout the distribution network. Energy efficiency and demand side management are very important because they can reduce electricity use, reduce demand at peak times, and reduce demand at times of low local renewable energy generation. Vice versa, they can shift demand to times of solar PV generation, maximising the use of local renewable resources.

    The direct employment(71)  in PV installation businesses can be measured in job years/MW PV installed. In Australia we estimate this to be about 20 jobyears/MW, which means that to install 1 MW PV would employ 20 people for 1 year.(72)  In Noosa this could be achieved through the installation of two hundred 5kW systems (for example through a solar bulk buy) or ten 100 kW systems (for example facilitated through the Multi-Site Feasibility Study approach). 

    In addition, every 1 MW of solar PV installed in Noosa Shire would generate about 1.37 GWh of renewable electricity each year. Further, this would avoid about $85,000 leaving Noosa Shire each year when people pay their bills – for electricity to be generated outside the area.

    By its very nature, renewable energy lends itself to smaller-scale projects that can be distributed throughout, and owned by, the community. This means it is important that there is community buy-in to the process. There are also significant benefits for business to invest in renewable energy, particularly in larger premises that have high energy costs, and opportunities for business to support community-owned projects.
    The following lists the major recommendations from this report. They are not listed in order of importance, but in the order in which they appear in this report. 

    7.1.    Recommendations

    7.1.1.    Energy Info Hubs

    Noosa Council could consider incorporating into their website a more comprehensive Online Energy Info Hub that pulls together, screens, and provides access to reliable information and tools that are most relevant to Noosa Shire. It could also link to online tools such as the Solar Potential Tool and the Sunulator. Ideally, a shop front drop-in centre could be established. Energy assessors could be established to conduct home energy audits, and they could operate from the drop-in centre. 

    7.1.2.    Solar bulk buy

    A solar bulk buy could be coordinated according to the process outlined above. It should have both a standard and higher-end option, use local installers, provide a community benefit, and could include batteries and SWHs.

    7.1.3.    Solar $avers

    Noosa Council could pursue it’s own Solar $avers program – drawing on the experience of the various Victorian councils who have run this type of program, as well as the Sunny Savers program being run by the Qld government. 

    7.1.4.    Solar for Rentals

    Through its Economic Development Fund, Noosa Council could fund the development of a Landlord’s Toolkit which would provide information regarding the various options to overcome the ‘split incentive barrier’. 

    7.1.5.    Solar Access Rights

    Noosa Council could develop a firm policy on how to address the issue of overshadowing of what could be a significant financial investment in solar PV or SWHs.

    7.1.6.    Multi-Site Feasibility Study

    ZEN or Council could coordinate a Multi-Site Feasibility Study to help businesses obtain solar. The first stage would involve a high level assessment of the viability of solar at each business. The second stage would involve a call for tenders for installers and an assessment of those tenders, then quality assurance of the completed installations.

    7.1.7.    Solar PPAs & Solar Leases

    As a first step, businesses and Council could be surveyed to assess their interest in these options. If there is sufficient interest, this list could simply be made available to solar installers, or a MSFS approach could be taken.

    7.1.8.    Environmental Upgrade Agreements

    Noosa Council either undertake an investigation into whether EUAs may require legislative changes in Queensland, or lobby the state government to do so this themselves.

    7.1.9.    Embedded Networks

    A survey/audit could be used to identify areas that have embedded networks, as well as their potential interest in installing solar. The outcomes of the survey/audit could be used to attract businesses who specialise in establishing and operating solar embedded networks.

    7.1.10.    Community organisations

    Noosa Council could develop a publicly available simplified process for tenants that wish to install solar PV. This should include some form of assurance that the lease term would be long enough to pay off the solar system. 

    7.1.11.    Solar for Schools

    ZEN may be able to assist the schools that have qualified for the Advancing Clean Energy Schools program. ZEN may also be able to assist the three schools that have not qualified by contacting the councils running the ‘Solar my School’ program in Sydney.

    7.1.12.    Large-scale solar

    ZEN should contact Taryn Lane (Akin Consulting) and Adam Blakester (Starfish Initiatives) regarding the different business models for community ownership of large-scale renewable energy plant.

    7.1.13.    Community-Owned Renewable Energy

    ZEN could facilitate the development of community-owned renewable energy projects where appropriate. For all but the large-scale solar projects, this would most likely use either the RePower Shoalhaven model or the Farming the Sun model, and ideally be with the assistance of these organisations. 


    Footnotes
    (71) Direct employment refers to those working directly for PV companies supplying, selling, installing or maintaining PV systems.  There is also indirect employment, including legal and financial support services, general transport, government regulators, etc.
    (72) Based on IRENA, 2016, ‘Renewable Energy and Jobs, Annual Review 2016’, International Renewable Energy Agency.

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    Draft Roadmap Report - Chapter 6

    6.    WHAT CAN NOOSA DO?

    Like Section 5, this section is also based on material from the report ‘Background Technical Study: Bright Futures Renewable Energy Project’ for East Gippsland Shire Council. However, it has been updated to reflect the latest options, and most importantly, has been altered to take into account the feedback from the community consultation process in Noosa. 

    This Section identifies priority projects for Noosa drawn from Section 5, based on ITP’s expertise and feedback from consultation with the community. The proposed projects have been categorised into residential, commercial-scale, large-scale and community-owned. Because the provision of information and education is important across the board, we first briefly identify some key sources of information.


    6.1.    Information & Education

    Noosa Shire Council is well placed to be seen as a reliable source of information regarding renewable energy and energy efficiency. Council already has some information on it’s website that relates to its own operations, and some information on sustainable construction and some energy savings tips. The following outlines some further options that could be taken, either by Council or by Zero Emissions Noosa.

    6.1.1.    Energy Efficiency

    As identified in Section 3.1.2, increased uptake of energy efficiency can significantly reduce costs faced by customers and can help integrate renewables into customers’ load profiles. Energy efficiency and demand side management can also be used to shift and reduce evening loads – thereby increasing the level of local energy self-sufficiency. 
    There is no shortage of actions that can be taken to reduce electricity use through energy efficiency, and potentially through demand-side management. The range of actions that can be taken is well documented on a range of websites and other reports – for example, see Table XI.

    Table XI Some Sources of Information on Energy Efficiency Actions
    Household general   
    Energy Efficient Homes   
    Household fridges & freezers    
    Household A/C, pool pumps and water heaters   
    Reduce Your Electricity Bill   and here 
    Energy efficienct appliance rebate    
    Air conditioners    
    House design    
    Building Star Energy Ratings    
    Renew Economy  -  Online free articles on renewable energy and energy efficiency,
    ATA Renew Magazine    Magazine for Alternative Technology Association members,
    A Green House Around the Corner    Interesting stories about the energy efficiency journey!
    Business general     and here  and here
    Business – A/C, power factor correction    
    Business Energy Savers Program    

    Information on the available options can be made available to the community through a variety of sources:

    a.    Full-page newspaper spreads. These can provide simple tips for ways to reduce energy use, along with links to useful sources of information. 

    b.    Online Energy Info Hub: A Noosa-specific website, where the most relevant information is collated. This would pull together, vet, and provide access to reliable information and tools that are most relevant to Noosa Shire. It could include, for example, detailed reports; easy to read, well presented information on energy efficiency and renewable energy for households and businesses (e.g. http://www.yourhome.gov.au/); one or more public discussion forums on different topics; a brief description of the various groups in Noosa Shire and links to their websites; and summaries of current projects and campaigns. 

    c.    A Community Energy Information Hub: This would be a shopfront where people could drop in for authoritative impartial advice. It could cover general information as well as targeted advice suitable for builders, architects, electricians, council officers etc. Although volunteers could staff such a centre, there would also be a need for trained staff. Its purpose is to provide information on renewable energy technologies, help raise energy awareness in the community, enable better communications through a ‘hub’ and could even act as a base for energy coaches (see below) to operate from and where people can request energy audits.

    Energy efficiency actions typically have a simple payback time of less than 4 years, often much less, and yet it can be quite difficult to get households and businesses to take them up!

    There is a range of reasons for this: lack of interest; lack of time to investigate the options; lack of good information (not only on the options that exist, but even on energy efficiency’s effectiveness); although the payback is high, the total amount of money saved can be quite low, and so not worth the effort; the split incentive problem (where a landlord would have to pay for the energy efficiency but the tenants get the benefit); for larger items such as SWHs the upfront cost may be too high; etc.

    It is because of this that passive provision of information is often not enough to maximise the uptake of energy efficiency. The following summarises activities that could be used to help convert simple information into the adoption of energy efficiency options in Noosa Shire. 

    ATA’s Sustainable House Day

    The Sustainable House Day is run by the Alternative Technology Association (ATA) and is where people can open up their sustainably designed homes to the general public – ones that are not only environmentally friendly, but cheaper to run and more comfortable to live in. It gives visitors a chance to inspect houses that have been designed, built or renovated with sustainability in mind as well as the opportunity to talk to owners and receive unbiased advice. https://sustainablehouseday.com

    Energy assessors

    Energy assessors can be used to carry out home energy audits, and give talks at events and to local community organisations. Although they can generally be sourced from volunteers, they will need some form of formal training. Their information could be based on the sources in Table XI.

    Community Engagement

    There are many ways to actively engage with the community:

    a.    A competition or community workshop for ideas to drive energy efficiency. With the uptake of energy efficiency being such an intractable problem, it may be that the best solutions will come from the community and businesses themselves.

    b.    Noosa Energy Saving Challenge: This could be a competition run by ZEN that includes a high quality fact sheet that could form the basis of the full-page newspaper spread outlined above. [53]

    c.    Repower Programs: This is where a street, group or business undertakes energy education, energy efficiency and renewable energy actions in order to maximise cooperative benefits. It can include ‘weatherisation programs’ that aim to improve the building envelope, especially in low-income homes. A particularly powerful aspect of activities such as Sustainability Street is peer group support. Once households see what other households are doing, and benefiting from, they are much more likely to do these things themselves. [54]

    Solar water heaters and heat pumps

    About 17% of households in Noosa Shire currently have solar water heaters or heat pumps, and the scenarios described above result in significantly higher uptake, and so here we cover SWHs in a little more depth than other energy efficiency options.

    Where a significant amount of electricity is provided by solar PV, a large amount of electricity will be drawn from the grid overnight. Water heating generally uses off-peak electricity (overnight), and so SWHs can be very effective in reducing the amount drawn from the grid.  However, as discussed above, the effectiveness of SWHs can vary greatly. The amount by which they reduce the electricity used to heat water can vary between 20% and 90%. It is generally not possible for a householder to assess the performance of their solar water heater from their energy bills and other readily available information. A recent study regarding the installation and use of SWHs in Australia found that:[14]

    a.    Households generally lack the information to buy the right type and size of SWH to suit their needs, as well as where to place it.[56]  This can act as a barrier to uptake.
    b.    Households generally don’t know how to either use their SWH or adjust their habits to maximise its ability to reduce electricity use. As a result they are unsure how much money they have saved, if any.
    c.    SWH installers generally provide limited, if any, advice on how to use the SWH.
    d.    There is a clear need for independent unbiased advice for both purchase and operation, and community groups/events and word of mouth from friends are considered the most reliable sources.
    e.    Households can be classified as either active or passive users of their SWHs, and information should be sculpted to these different groups.

    Thus, there is a need for options to encourage uptake, such as the ‘Farming the Sun’ solar water heater bulk buy in the Northern Tablelands[57],  but also a need for complementary measures such as:

    • A pamphlet on how to operate a SWH that is provided along with all installations
    • Information, both online and as a pamphlet, on how to choose a SWH of the correct size, type etc
    • Possibly some form of training of SWH installers on what customers really want. This could include a low-flow showerhead (that has a payback time of less than 6 months).
    • Noosa Council could also investigate their powers to mandate SWHs in the planning scheme. As there may be limited opportunity for new houses in Noosa, a requirement for a SWH could also apply to renovations over a certain size.

    Heat pump systems can offer a more flexible option to SWHs and their performance is usually comparable, if not better, for efficient systems. Heat pumps can overcome issues of shading, roof orientation and roof strength that often create major issues for solar thermal water heaters. They can be quite noisy however and so need to be located away from neighbours.


    6.1.2.    Renewable Energy

    Financial assessment tools

    There are various tools that households and businesses can use to assess the financial outcomes of solar PV systems. For example:

    SunSPoT

    The Australian PV Institute (APVI) has developed the SunSPoT[59],  which is a free online tool for estimating the potential for electricity generation from PV on particular building roofs. The tool accounts for solar radiation and weather at the site; PV system area, tilt, orientation; and shading from nearby buildings and vegetation. Host sites potentially interested in installing PV can do their own preliminary assessment on the optimal size and financial return. Currently it only applies to capital cities (eg. Sydney City, Melbourne City, etc) as well as some suburbs in Sydney. To have it apply to Noosa would involve an upfront cost of around $12,000 plus about $3,000 per year for maintenance.

    Sunulator

    The Alternative Technology Association’s Sunulator is free and is similar to the Solar Potential Tool above, but also allows the user to take account of their own energy use and tariffs – which is useful if the PV system is likely to have significant amounts of export. In this case it would provide a more sophisticated and accurate estimate of the financial outcomes. It can also model a battery storage option. However, it does not incorporate local solar radiation and shading, and is more complex and so more difficult to operate and so may not be suitable for many people.[60]

    Information guides

    There are also various information booklets available on solar and batteries for both households and business. For example:

    Guide for Installing Solar PV for Households

    This is produced by the Clean Energy Council and includes the following topics.[61]  
    •    The different types of solar PV systems
    •    How much will it cost?
    •    Government incentive schemes
    •    Feed-in tariffs (the amount your electricity company pays you for excess power)
    •    Choosing the right size solar system
    •    Things to watch out for when signing a contract
    •    Installation and connection to the grid
    •    Maintaining your solar system
    •    What to do if something goes wrong

    Guide for Installing Solar PV for Business

    This is also produced by the Clean Energy Council and includes the following topics.[62]  
    •    Is solar PV the right choice for my business?
    •    Grid-connected vs stand-alone systems
    •    How much will it cost?
    •    The business case for solar PV
    •    Building and planning permits
    •    Advice for businesses in leased premises
    •    Government assistance and financing options
    •    Choosing and installing your solar PV system
    •    What do if something goes wrong

    Battery Energy Storage website

    The Queensland government has provided a website that explains the ins and outs of battery energy storage. It includes sections on: [63] 
    1.    How battery energy storage works
    2.    Types of battery energy storage
    3.    Battery safety and maintenance
    4.    Is battery energy storage right for you?
    5.    Choosing a battery to suit your needs
    Another useful source of information can be found here.  [64] 

    6.2.    Proposed Projects for Noosa

    The following proposes some specific projects that can be used to enable uptake of renewable energy in the residential and commercial sectors in Noosa, as well as options for large-scale systems. This section also outlines opportunities for community ownership (CORE). The proposed projects are summarised in Table XII.

     Table XII - Summary of Proposed Projects

    Table XII - Summary of Proposed Projects

    6.2.1.    Residential

    Household-scale solar PV systems should provide a good investment return – see Table XIII. Indicative electricity tariffs have been used and will of course vary between households. The export tariff of 8c/kWh is only as estimate and will vary between retailers. The amount of exported electricity depends on both the size of the PV system and the load profile of the household. The more electricity used during the day, the better the financial return. Although this is only a simple payback time calculation, and so does not take into account the fact that the money used to buy a PV system could have been invested elsewhere, this is counteracted by the fact that electricity prices are likely to increase over time (note that the recent increase in electricity prices means that retail tariffs have effectively doubled in the past 10 years).

     Table XIII - Likely Financial Outcomes for a 3 kW Household Solar PV System

    Table XIII - Likely Financial Outcomes for a 3 kW Household Solar PV System

    Solar bulk buys

    ITP recommends that ZEN and/or Noosa Shire Council facilitate a solar PV bulk buy. As discussed above, the systems may not be much cheaper that could be accessed directly from installers, but there is an implied guarantee regarding the quality of both the systems and the installers, and they can result in community benefits of some sort. The bulk buy pricing and associated information will also educate people so that they are less likely to fall prey to overpriced offers from external installers.

    The main points to note are:

    1. Running a solar bulk buy is not a trivial task. It requires a central organisation that takes full responsibility for running the bulk buy, is skilled in project management, and has a high level of knowledge of solar technologies. If no one at ZEN or Council can take this on, ITP recommends that organisations such as those listed in Table X be contacted. 
    2. As many of the existing local installers should be used as possible. Any installers left out may undermine the bulk buy. A bulk buy should also be seen as an opportunity to up-skill local installers who may not yet quite make the grade. Increased competition will reduce prices, which should increase demand, which, combined with the other recommendations in this report, should create more than enough work for all the local installers. Instilling an ethos of high quality work and the use of high quality components will give the scheme high credibility and will lead to greater local confidence in solar and in the scheme, which will further build installation rates.
    3. Both a higher end PV system and a standard option should be made available. There may be a need for optional microinverters or power optimisers,[65]  which are more expensive but help a PV system to maintain its output despite shading. Use of good quality components installed by trusted local installers with suitable warranties of performance is a key element.
    4. Batteries could also be considered, however it is very important that the community is well informed regarding their financial payback. In most situations, at current prices, batteries are unlikely to pay themselves off during their warranty period.
    5. Solar water heaters should also be considered. Some of the solar PV installers in Noosa are also SWH installers, and so they could be involved in this offering. Farming the Sun has experience with SWH bulk buys. The use of high quality heat pump systems may be a more flexible and cost effective for the supply of hot water in many circumstances. [66]
    6. The community should be consulted on what sort of community benefit they would like, be it a cash donation to certain charities or free solar systems for community organisations.
    7. Maximum use should be made of all the local community organisations’ networks to spread the word. This should extend beyond those with an environmental focus (eg. to sporting groups). 

    Solar $avers

    As discussed in Section 5.2, the Queensland government is currently conducting the Sunny Savers trials in Cairns, Rockhampton and Logan. There is no reason that Noosa Council couldn’t initiate their own Solar $avers program as many Victorian councils have done. Any of the three purchase options currently being trialled under Sunny Savers could be used. It may even be possible to use the local installers’ current finance offerings. Involvement of ZEN and/or Council adds credibility to the offer. In fact, it may even be possible to offer a combined Solar $avers/bulk buy.

    Solar for Rentals

    Any of the four different types of approaches discussed in Section 5.4 could be used for rental properties. The  ‘simple agreement’ approach is easy to make available as it does not necessarily involve a real estate agent, but will require cooperation between the landlord and the tenant. We have provided a simple spreadsheet that can be downloaded and used for this purpose. We have also provided a simple Memorandum of Understanding that can be adapted depending on the circumstances – see Appendix A. 
    Information of this and the various ‘pay-for-use’ options could be included in the ‘Landlord Toolkit’ that ZEN is currently considering developing, and which could be funded from Council’s Economic Development Fund. This information could also be made available through the various platforms discussed in Section 6.1. Another option for renters is of course to simply invest in a CORE project as discussed in Section 5.5.2, be it on a business, a community organisation or a local school.

    Solar access rights

    Solar access rights for buildings are important not only for solar PV, but also for energy efficiency technologies such as SWHs and even for naturally lighting and for passive solar designed buildings. It is important to ensure that buildings and other structures do not infringe on the solar access provisions of a neighbouring property. The height of buildings, especially those located on a property’s northern boundary, can be a critical factor in ensuring good solar access. Neighbourhood agreements, such as covenants, may be entered into between property owners to protect PV solar access.
    The Noosa Planning Scheme Policy 10 refers to the need to take into account the solar access enjoyed by neighbours. Part 14 of The Noosa Plan also refers to the need to minimise reductions in solar access of neighbours, and specifically refers to the needs of solar panels. To pre-empt complaints of shading of solar panels driven by new-builds or renovations, Noosa Council could develop a firm policy on how to address this issue. Overshadowing could reduce the financial returns from what could be a significant capital investment.

    Cooran Earth Rights

    Cooran Earth Rights is a group based in Cooran that was established to protest against the Colton Coal Mine, and subsequently are protesting against exploration permits close to Cooran. They have undertaken a significant amount of community engagement and appear to have a very actively engaged community. As such they could be an ideal place to launch campaigns such as the solar bulk buy, Solar $avers and possibly some form of rental solar awareness campaign. Cooran may also be a suitable place to undertake the commercial-scale activities discussed in the following section. 

    6.2.2.    Commercial-scale

    Commercial-scale solar PV systems should also provide a good investment return – see Table XIII. Businesses generally have a better match between their load profile and PV generation than do households (both higher in the middle of the day), which results in less export to the grid compared to household systems. Businesses can be divided into those whose electricity tariffs included demand charges (larger businesses), and those that did not (most of the businesses operating in Noosa). Demand charges are applied to the customer’s maximum monthly demand during specified time periods, and where they are included, the per kWh tariff rate is lower. Although a PV system may well reduce the demand charges, this is not certain without some additional internal load management system and/or batteries, and so in our calculations we have conservatively assumed it does not. This reduces the financial return but still results in very favourable payback times.

     Table XIV - Likely Financial Outcomes for a 30 kW Commercial Solar PV System

    Table XIV - Likely Financial Outcomes for a 30 kW Commercial Solar PV System

    ITP has identified the following types of opportunities for commercial-scale systems.

    1. Local businesses

    Multi-Site Feasibility Study

    Although detailed community consultation was not undertaken with businesses in Noosa (apart from one community information session that targeted businesses), based on our experience, many businesses are interested in solar but don’t have the time to look into it because it is not part of their core business, and also lack the expertise to really know what the options are and what is best for their particular circumstances. 

    ITP recommends that a Multi-Site Feasibility Study (MSFS) based on a two-stage approach be used to assist these businesses. The aim is to help the businesses to decide whether to install solar, and, where they proceed, to ensure that they end up with a high quality system at a good price. The costs of each of these stages could be spread across participating businesses or they could be covered by Noosa Council’s Economic Development Fund. Of course, even without support from the EDF, this would be money well spent given the high likelihood that solar would be a good business proposition. 

    The first stage would be to help these businesses assess the financial viability of solar PV. A consultant who does not have a direct interest in convincing a business to install solar, but that has a very high level of technical knowledge of solar, should be contracted to provide an assessment the viability of solar for these businesses en masse. This would result in a series of reports (a separate assessment for each business) that would detail:

    1. The recommended system size(s)
    2. A detailed estimate of the installed cost
    3. The estimated annual generation and income
    4. The estimated simple payback time
    5. A brief description of any relevant issues such as shading or roofing restrictions (eg. any requirements for structural reinforcement), proposed alterations to operations in order to better align load with PV output, and any metering or switchboard limitations.

    Sites should also be given the option of a more detailed assessment including load monitoring, and/or an energy audit, which could be provided at an additional cost. This would be important for businesses that have a demand charge included in their electricity tariffs because their per kWh rate could be quite low and solar may not reduce their demand charges (for example if their peaks occur in the early morning or late evening).

    The second stage would be to help interested businesses to install an appropriate solar PV system. Either the same consultant from stage 1, or a different consultant, would be contracted to project-manage a call for tenders for installers and an assessment of those tenders, and then to perform quality assurance on the completed installations. This could all be incorporated with the free service that Ecobiz offer (http://cciqecobiz.com.au). 

    Tourism Noosa may like to coordinate this approach for their members. It could also be combined with the use of the SunSPoT tool to write a report assessing Tourism Noosa’s members' overall potential for rooftop solar.

    Where the business doesn’t own their building, one of the options identified in Section 5 could be used to overcome the landlord/tenant split incentive problem. As well as the ‘simple agreement’ and ‘third party automation’ approaches, other options include solar PPAs/leases, EUAs and solar gardens.

    Solar PPAs and Solar Leases

    Solar PPAs and Solar Leases may be suitable for businesses in Noosa, but before putting too much effort into these options it would be wise to survey business interest. They could be suitable for owner-occupiers or could even be used to overcome the landlord/tenant split incentive problem. Council could review its property portfolio and consider how to use solar PPAs and leases to facilitate the take up of solar by its commercial and community tenants.

    This would not only showcase Council progressive activities, but also show other landlords/tenants that it is possible. If there is sufficient interest, this list could simply be made available to solar installers, or a MSFS approach could be taken.

    Environmental Upgrade Agreements

    As discussed in Section 5.4, these can be used to overcome the split incentive problem for commercial premises. In both Victoria[67]  and NSW[68]  legislative changes were required for EUAs to be implemented. Thus, we recommend that Noosa Council either undertake an investigation into whether EUAs may require legislative changes in Queensland, or lobby the state government to do this themselves. 

    Embedded networks

    As discussed in Section 5.6.1, industrial estates, apartment blocks, retirement villages or caravan parks may have embedded electricity networks. It is most likely that they do not, so if there is any interest in exploring the ability of embedded networks to enable the uptake of renewable energy, the first step would be to perform some sort of survey/audit to identify areas that do have embedded networks. Alternatively an invitation could be sent out to body corporates (especially in the Noosaville industrial estate) to see if they have an embedded network, and if they do, then to see if they have any interest in installing solar. 

    Note that using an embedded network in this way is not a trivial task, and although any changes they undertake should have good financial returns, they could involve more complex metering and billing, and would need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis because each site is likely to have different circumstances and different opportunities. The outcomes of the survey/audit could be used to attract businesses that specialise in establishing and operating embedded networks.

    Sundale Retirement Villages is in the process of building a retirement village in Tewantin that will be the first in Australia to have an embedded network. It will have a centralised PV system where the electricity will be shared amongst the residents, as well as electric cars and bicycles. Once this is built it will most likely act as a model case study proving that this can be done, and so lead to the development of more such projects.

    2. Community organisations & Schools

    - Solar PV on community buildings: In my notes I have that you are doing an audit on the council buildings that have PV, which would include the community groups who recently installed PV? It would be good to get info on these groups and their PV, what process they followed, could other community groups use the same process, etc.    Annie (11/5/18) Yes I should be able to get this information through in a couple of weeks

    All the following is complete but I am still waiting on a response from Annie so this can be better meshed into what Council is already doing/planning.

    Community Organisations

    Many community organisations in Noosa occupy buildings owned by Noosa Council. They are generally under a licence or lease arrangement, but where multiple organisations may use a particular building, then each may operate under an agreement which includes the cost of electricity.

    Where a licence or lease arrangement is used, there is an opportunity for the tenant to own a solar system to reduce their electricity costs. The main issue here is that when the lease expires the tenant may either lose their PV system or be required to remove it (and have nowhere for it to go). However, Noosa Council understands this issue and have said it is quite unusual for a licence or lease to not be renewed. Leases generally go for 21** years, and can be up to **65 years with Ministerial approval. Solar systems generally pay themselves off in 5 to 10 years.

    Another issue relates to the requirements placed on tenants regarding significant changes to their site. In ITP’s experience with other jurisdictions, since the installation of solar PV on buildings leased by government is new, there are generally no processes in place to deal with it. Tenants can be required to go through a very convoluted process, which may be being developed ‘on the run’, and involve multiple sections or departments. Thus, ITP recommends that Noosa Council develops a publicly available transparent application process if tenants wish to install solar PV. This should culminate in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which could be incorporated into the lease agreement if necessary.

    A proposed process is outlined below. It is based on a process developed for Byron Shire Council and so some aspects may not be relevant for Noosa. 

    1.    Identify potential building (either by tenant or Council)
    2.    Assess building/land category:

    a.    Operational Land
    b.    Leased Building (either Council or Crown owned)
    c.    Council owned asset

    3.    Consult with relevant asset manager to determine:

    a.    Further relevant stakeholders
    b.    Tenure status (this will determine who the MOU needs to be with)
    c.    Potential renovation plans
    d.    Most recent roof condition report
    e.    Any known barriers to completing a solar project

    4.    Identify if energy efficiency improvements can be made first and suitability of solar for the current use.
    5.    Table a draft MOU for the project
    6.    Complete a structural engineering assessment of roof supports (if necessary)
    7.    Procure and install solar PV systems

    Steps 4, 5, 6 and 7 are areas where assistance could be provided to tenants. 

    Step 4: The tenant could pay for an energy efficiency audit, an audit could be incorporated into an existing or new group activity, or council could apply for grant funding to do a number of community buildings at the same time.

    Step 5: Council could develop a template MOU that would meet the legal requirements of their lease agreements. It need not be complex and so could only include things such as who owns the PV system, who is responsible for operating and maintaining it, who is responsible for disposing of it (both when the lease ends and at the end of life of the system). In most, if not all cases, the responsibility for all of these would lie with the tenant. Note that all PV systems come with three warranties: an installation warranty (generally 5 years and covers the installer’s workmanship), a product warranty (generally 10 years and covers any faults in the panels, inverter etc), and a performance warranty (at least 20 years and warrants a certain level of performance over time – generally 80% of original output).

    Step 6: Council could coordinate a group assessment of their buildings, which they could even pay for themselves as part of their responsibility to their tenants.

    Step 7: If there is a sufficient number of sites, this could use the MSFS process. 

    If the tenants operate under an agreement where they don’t pay their own electricity bills, it would be in Council’s interest to install a solar system themselves since it will reduce their own operating costs. They could also choose to pass on some of these savings to the tenants. They could follow essentially the same process as described above for leased buildings.

    One issue that has been raised in other areas was the need to avoid ‘profiteering off crown’, which is where crown assets are used by groups to generate a profit. However, that this is unlikely to be an issue as long as the profit is going back into the organisation and not being dispersed to external for-profit organisations or businesses.

    Community Ownership

    These sorts of solar systems are of course perfect candidates for community ownership – that is, ownership not just by the community group, but by individual community members of that group. Any of the options for CORE projects discussed in Section 5.5 could be used, although it is likely that either the RePower Shoalhaven or Farming the Sun models would be best.

    Solar for Schools

    Public schools represent a good opportunity to install solar systems. Public schools in Qld pay their own electricity bills, and so the installation of solar can significantly reduce their operational costs. Solar Systems can be installed with an online descriptive live data interface that allows school children to understand how and when electricity is being produced. This can be combined with relevant curricula material from kindergarten through high school and serve as a valuable means of increasing familiarity, knowledge and acceptance of the technologies, which can be carried into later life. 

    The Qld government has recently announced the Advancing Clean Energy Schools program which will run over 3 years and will focus on both energy efficiency and solar PV systems. Based on information provided by ZEN, it appears that the following Noosa LGA schools will be covered by the scheme:
    •    Cooran State School
    •    Cooroy State School
    •    Noosa District State High School
    •    Noosa District State High School - Pomona Campus
    •    Noosaville State School
    •    Pomona State School
    •    Sunshine Beach State High School
    •    Sunshine Beach State School
    And these three state schools will miss out:
    •    Kin Kin SS
    •    Federal SS
    •    Tewantin SS

    At this stage the process for having the PV systems installed under the Advancing Clean Energy Schools program has not been made publicly available. Once it is known then ZEN may be able to assist the eight schools identified above. For example, if the schools have to organise the selection of installer themselves, ZEN could assist through a MSFS approach.
    It may be possible for the three schools who miss out to get solar systems themselves based on the approach taken through ‘Solar my School’, which is a free council program currently being run in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney.[69]  It is currently being run jointly by Waverley, Randwick and Woollahra councils, and helps schools install solar PV through a free solar assessment, advice on funding, assistance selecting a quality PV system, teaching materials and promotion of what the school is doing. 

    Community Ownership

    School solar systems are also excellent candidates for CORE projects because they can draw on members of the school community. Such projects provide ongoing financial benefits to the community owners long after their children have left that school.

    6.2.3.    Large-scale

    Because of limits to the availability and cost of land there are very few opportunities for large-scale renewable energy generation within Noosa Shire. Here we take large-scale to be greater than 100kW, and so there would certainly be some opportunities in the Noosaville industrial estate, but nowhere near the amount required to reach the 100% renewable energy target.

    Therefore, any significant large-scale development will need to be outside Noosa LGA. This then raises the issue of how Noosa can claim the renewable electricity towards its 100% RE target. As discussed in Section 4, we argued that renewable electricity could be said to contribute to Noosa’s 100% RE target if it came about solely because of the actions of people from Noosa. Although it isn’t necessary for the system to be owned, or the electricity to be purchased, by people from Noosa, this would create a clearer link to achievement of the target.

    There are a number of solar and wind farms currently being built in Queensland, including the SolarQ proposal, which is relatively nearby.[70]  Three different approaches to community ownership of large-scale renewable energy projects were discussed in Section 5.5.2: through an unlisted public company limited by shares (SRPC and Sapphire), and through a cooperative structure (Hepburn Wind). 

    The most promising approach for Noosa appears to be the approach taken at Sapphire Wind Farm, where shares available for community ownership of a portion of the wind farm are expected to become available in Oct 2018. Taryn Lane (Akin Consulting) and Adam Blakester (Starfish Initiatives) could be contacted to see if their approach could be applied to one or more large-scale developments in Qld. Note that as above, for this to count towards Noosa’s 100% target, an additional amount of capacity would need to be built – otherwise it is just a financial investment that would have happened anyway.

    6.2.4.    Community Ownership

    For all the above project types (apart from the large-scale ground-mounted PV arrays), ITP recommends that either RePower Shoalhaven’s CORE model or the Farming the Sun approach be used. Each involves a proprietary company limited by shares being established for each solar system (or group of solar systems). The main difference between the two is that under the Farming the Sun model the private company doesn’t own the PV system but just loans the money to the host site.

    In the first instance, RePower Shoalhaven or Farming the Sun should be contacted to see if they are happy to provide assistance, and what sort of assistance they could provide. The best option is likely to be that one of these groups coordinate the establishment of the first ‘CORE company’ with on-the-ground assistance from ZEN. Once a local community group has developed more internal capacity, it could then set up the next CORE company, and so on.

    The same general approach would be used for all the CORE opportunities discussed above. Once a specific project has been identified and a financial analysis completed (ie. installed cost, expected annual income, return on investment), it would be advertised as a CORE project to people who are likely to want to invest. Businesses, community organisations and public schools can use their own networks to make the project known to the public. 


    Footnotes: 
    (53)  An example of a fact sheet can be found here http://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/publications/fact-sheets
    (54)  A good example can be found here http://www.repowerbyron.org
    (55)  PV diverters can also be useful in this regard. Instead of excess PV electricity being exported to the grid, it is diverted to a storage hot water tank.
    (56)  The report found a wide variety of problems with installation, including solar panels shaded by trees, solar panels facing in the wrong direction, lack of proper insulation, tanks or panels that were undersized, water pipes that were sub-optimally routed or positioned, and panels supported on vulnerable structures.
    (57)  http://farmingthesun.net/bulk-buys/solar-hot-water-package/ 
    (58)  This can include simple advice such as the benefit of showering early in the day (so the sun has time to reheat the water before the overnight boost).
    (59)  It can be found here http://pv-map.apvi.org.au/sunspot
    (60)  It can be obtained here - http://www.ata.org.au/ata-research/sunulator. 
    (61) http://www.solaraccreditation.com.au/consumers/purchasing-your-solar-pv-system/solar-pv-guide-for-households.html
    (62)  http://www.solaraccreditation.com.au/consumers/purchasing-your-solar-pv-system/solar-pv-guide-for-businesses.html
    (63)  https://www.qld.gov.au/housing/buying-owning-home/battery-energy-storage
    (64)  http://www.resourcesandenergy.nsw.gov.au/energy-consumers/sustainable-energy/home-solar-battery-guide
    (65)  Most inverters are what are known as ‘string inverters’, where the electricity from normally two strings of panels is all channelled through a single inverter. If one of the panels in a string is shaded then the output from the entire string is significantly reduced. Microinverters are smaller inverters that are placed on the back of each panel. In this case, if one panel is shaded, only the output from that panel is reduced. Power optimisers are similar in that they are connected to each PV panel and maximise the power output of that panel. 
    (66) http://www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/RET/Scheme-participants-and-industry/Agents-and-installers/Small-scale-systems-eligible-for-certificates/Register-of-solar-water-heaters (67)  https://www.energy.vic.gov.au/energy-efficiency/environmental-upgrade-agreements
    (68)  http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/business/upgrade-agreements.htm
    (69) More information can be found here - http://reduceyourfootprint.com.au/projects/solar-my-school/ 
    (70) https://www.solarq.com.au

     

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    Draft Roadmap Report - Chapter 5

    5.    BUSINESS MODELS

    This section describes the different approaches or ‘business models’ that can be used to drive uptake of renewable energy technologies. It is based on material from the report ‘Background Technical Study: Bright Futures Renewable Energy Project’ for East Gippsland Shire Council, but has been updated based on feedback from Zero Emissions Noosa and a series of community consultations in Noosa. 

    The emphasis here is on identifying new opportunities that the community can develop. This means the technologies should be both commercially available and readily deployable within Noosa. To reach 100% renewable energy it is likely that large-scale projects will need to be built outside Noosa. These are longer-term projects and as discussed above are better built after 2020 when they are more likely to be additional. Thus, although larger-scale systems are discussed here, the emphasis is on smaller scale (100kW or less) systems that can be built within Noosa Shire. 

    As highlighted in the modelling results above, solar PV is likely to be the predominant technology deployed within Noosa. It has very short payback times (around 5 years for residential, and 4 to 9 years for commercial-scale), can be deployed at any scale, and has no moving parts and so is very reliable and requires very little maintenance. Solar water heaters and other energy efficiency technologies will of course also be taken up, and possibly bioenergy and a some small-scale wind – and many of the business models and programs discussed in this report could be applied to these technologies also. 
    Although the focus here is on renewable energy, it is always a good idea to incorporate the uptake of energy efficiency. This will reduce the amount of renewable energy generators required to meet the 100% target, and can be used to reduce the amount of electricity required when solar PV isn’t generating (and so reduce the import from the wider electricity grid). Demand side management is an overarching term that includes energy efficiency, but also includes, for example, shifting loads from the evening to the middle of the day when solar is generating. This both reduces the daytime export and reduces the evening peaks (which in turn reduces the size, and cost, of the networks required to meet these peaks).

    Section 6 draws on these options to propose specific examples of actions that EGSC and the local community can undertake.

    5.1.    Direct ownership

    The most common ‘business model’ for the uptake of small to medium-scale renewable energy is direct ownership, where the host site (be it a household or a business) purchases the renewable energy system outright. Such systems commonly have a simple payback time of 5 years or less.[27]  The most common variation to this theme is where the installer offers some form of finance to help overcome the upfront cost barrier.

    Two common approaches to assist households in particular, as well as businesses, to install solar are solar/battery bulk buys and what are often called Solar $aver programs.

    5.1.1.    Bulk buys

    ‘Bulk buys’ are an approach used to reduce the upfront cost of solar PV systems. They can also be used for solar water heaters, but this is rare. They were first used widely back in 2010, and required 50 or more households to ‘sign up’ with an expression of interest. When sufficient ‘sign ups’ had been received, the components for 50 systems would be purchased in bulk at a discount and installed. Nowadays they are more flexible and generally don’t wait until a certain number of systems have been ordered. Recent examples are listed in Table X below, and in summary:

    a)    They generally involve a community group responsible for coordination and public outreach, but can also involve the local council. They may also be coordinated by a private business or social enterprise.
    b)    Local installers are used, and are vetted with respect to the quality of their installations and whether they are likely to be around to honour warranty claims. 
    c)    A limited number of types of systems are available, both in terms of technology options and sizes, and they generally include additional costs in specific circumstances such as: the building being more than a single storey, the roof being tiled, and where a framing is required to angle the panels. 
    d)    They can also result in public benefits of some sort, such as direct financial contributions to particular community groups, or a free system for a community building for every X number of total installations. 
    e)    Prices are not necessarily much cheaper than normal, but there is an implied guarantee regarding the quality of both the systems and the installers. More recently they have included batteries and options such as Reposit. 
    f)    Some are run only in the organisation’s local area (eg. Darebin, MASH, SHASA), and some are run by organisations that work in a number of areas (eg. Farming the Sun). 

    A detailed recommendation for how Noosa could participate in a bulk buy is provided in Section 6.2.1.

     Table X - Examples of Solar Bulk Buys

    Table X - Examples of Solar Bulk Buys

    5.1.2.    Solar $aver Programs

    The first Solar $aver program was developed by Darebin City Council, which has been very proactive in encouraging uptake of solar PV. As well as the solar bulk buy described above, in 2014 and 2016 they rolled out the Solar $avers program, and have another planned for 2016. They allow pensioners; not-for-profit organisations; and renters in social housing, in receipt of a Centrelink benefit or in housing poverty, the chance to get a solar system. In the 2019 round, eligible residents will first receive a no-obligation quote on a 2 kW to 5 kW solar PV system. DCC will pay for the system up front and the household will then pay off the system interest-free over 10 years through special quarterly rate payments. The payments are less than the savings on their electricity bills. In the first two rounds households could also receive free advice on energy efficiency from Positive Charge (a social enterprise of not-for-profit community organisation Moreland Energy Foundation). Positive Charge also provided project management, household advice, solar assessment and brokers specifications and contracts on behalf of the solar PV supplier and Council. Nearly 500 solar PV systems have been installed through the Solar $avers program to date. More information on this model is available on the Embark website. [28] 

    A scaled-up version of Solar $avers is now being coordinated by the Victorian Greenhouse Alliances. It follows a six stage process:

    1. They check that solar is right for the household.
    2. They arrange a quote for a solar.
    3. The household then approves the quote.
    4. They organise for the solar system to be installed.
    5. They support the household to understand and get the most out of their new solar system.
    6. The household gradually pays for their solar system over ten years.

    Instead of using repayments through rate increases they are using low interest loans through Bank Australia. A condition of this program is that all households must be at least $100 better of each year. [29] 

    The Queensland government is currently running the Sunny Savers trials, which are a form of Solar $avers that target social housing – see Section 5.2. Recommendations for the Solar $avers type of approach in Noosa are discussed in Section 6.2.1.

    5.2.    Targeted Social Housing Programs

    These types of programs are similar to the Darebin model except that they target government-owned housing. They aim to reduce electricity costs for tenants and essentially revolve around a state government body organising to have solar installed on public housing, which is then either partially or fully paid off over time by the tenants. 

    The Queensland government is currently conducting the Sunny Savers trials in Cairns, Rockhampton and Logan through their Housing Service Centres. The trials are being conducted in partnership between the Department of Housing and Public Works and the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy. Where householders can’t pay upfront for their solar PV system themselves, three different purchase options are available. One uses a solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) approach where the system is installed free of charge, and the tenant agrees to purchase some or all of the electricity it generates at a per kWh rate that is less than grid electricity. After between 7 and 15 years the householder either owns or can buy out the system. Under the second option the householder can take out a solar loan to cover the cost, with repayments over 2-5 years, after which time they own the system. The third option uses a solar lease, where the householder pays a regular lease charge, then owns or can buy out the system after 5-10 years.[30] 

    5.3.    Solar Power Purchase Agreements and Solar Leasing

    Solar PPAs offered by solar installers are very popular in the United States, and may be becoming more popular in Australia. They involve the installer owning and operating a PV system on a house or business – which is then obliged to pay for any electricity it consumes directly from the PV system, but at a rate lower than grid electricity. The customer remains with whatever retailer they choose to be with, who meets the remainder of their electricity needs. Some solar PPAs come with the option of owning the system after a certain time, in which case the tariff payments are higher. Despite a number of companies offering this sort of product to the residential sector, they have not proven very popular in Australia, with most households preferring to own their own system. The latest efforts to target the residential solar PPA market have tended to be organised by property developers, who offer solar PPAs en masse to new home buyers,[31]  and governments, such as in the Sunny Savers trials in Section 5.2. Another recent offering by ShineHub combines solar PPAs with a bulk buy of solar PV and batteries.[32]  It will target all states except for the Northern Territory and Tasmania, and offers PV between 3 and 10kW, and batteries between 5.8 and 22.8 kWh. Households will enter into a 20 year contract to buy the solar at a ‘low fixed rate’ that ShineHub says will deliver instant bill savings of between 14% (in Victoria) up to 50% (in South Australia), and the option to buy the system out at any point along the way.

    Solar PPAs have been a bit more successful in the commercial sector, being offered by companies such as Energy Lease, Energy Matters, Infinite Energy and ReNu Energy.

    These companies (and others) also offer solar leasing options, with the difference being that payments to the installer/leasing company are for a fixed amount, rather than being based on a per kWh rate. The lease periods are also generally much shorter than solar PPA periods (eg. 7 to 15 years vs 10 to 20 years).

    5.4.    Overcoming the split incentive barrier

    A significant problem for the uptake on tenanted premises (both residential and commercial) is the ‘split incentive barrier’. With regards to solar PV systems, this is where the building owner has little incentive to install solar because the tenant will receive the benefits (assuming they pay their own electricity bills). 

    Apart from the options outlined above where the housing is government-owned, there are a number of options either currently available, or being explored, to overcome this barrier. Note that although none of them necessarily involve a real estate agent, all will require some level of cooperation between the landlord and the tenant. 

    Simple agreement: In this case the landlord pays for and installs the PV system, then enters into an agreement with the tenant where the benefit to the tenant is either estimated or calculated. To calculate the total value the amount of exported electricity (kWh) is subtracted from the total generation to calculate the amount of on-site use. The exported and on-site electricity are multiplied by their respective tariffs to obtain to total value. The tenant then pays the landlord all or a proportion of this value, either through increased rent or direct payment.

    Electricity retailer facilitated: In this case the retailer acts as a broker between the tenant and the landlord. Again the landlord pays for the system. The retailer has access to the information required to determine the value provided by the system, and can then apportion this value to the tenant and landlord. 

    Third party automation: Here a private business installs hardware that measures the exported and on-site electricity and the associated value, then uses bespoke software to arrange payment from the tenant to the landlord.[33]  This could be seen as a type of solar PPA and examples include SunTenants[34] , Matter[35]  and Blue Star Energy[36] , which differ in the nature of the costs faced by the landlord and the tenants, and how the landlord is paid (e.g. directly or through increased rent). A recent variation on this is where Stoddart Group, together with Powershop and Reposit are providing ‘SunYield’, a plan where PV systems are installed on new investment properties, where the tenants receive a single power bill that includes electricity from the solar PV system, and landlords receive income from the PV electricity sales.[37]

    Environmental Upgrade Agreements: An EUA is a process whereby a building owner can access funding for construction works (generally for renewable energy or improvements to energy efficiency), the local council then collects repayments through its rates system and passes these on to the lender. Because the loan is repaid through the council rates system it is prioritised over other debts if there is a default. This increased security means the lender can offer a reduced interest rate. An EUA also means that the business that occupies the building can move on as the loan (and the improvements) stay with the building. In this case the building owner would need to charge higher rents to cover the increases to its rates.

    Solar Garden: A solar garden is an option where individuals can purchase a ‘share’ of a solar PV system on someone else’s roof. There are broadly two different types of solar gardens. One type is essentially an investment-based approach where an individual can invest in a project as discussed in Section 5.5.2. The other is where the electricity must be used on an instantaneous basis, and so the solar system is seen to be supplying the electricity to the individual involved in the solar garden directly to their home via the grid (for example through Local Energy Trading as discussed in Section 5.6).

    5.5.    Community-Owned Renewable Energy projects

    Community-Owned Renewable Energy (CORE) projects can be either donation-based or investment-based. Both kinds could be implemented in Noosa.

    5.5.1.    Donation-based projects

    Donation-based projects, such as those developed by Community-Owned Renewable Energy Mullumbimby (COREM)[38]  and Citizens Own Renewable Energy Network Australia (CORENA) [39] rely on donations, and other forms of income such as fundraising events, to raise funds for PV systems – generally for community groups. The funds are provided as loans that are then repaid from savings in electricity bills. The repayments go into a revolving fund that can then be used to finance more projects, and so on. This approach relies on the host site helping to drive the fundraising efforts using their local networks, and organisations such as COREM and CORENA running the request for tender process, selecting the installer and helping with any post installation issues. They may also provide excess funds available from other fundraising efforts. It may be possible for a community group in Noosa to access funds from groups such as these, but the process would need to be driven by a local group. CORENA currently has funds available to help with donation-based projects.

    5.5.2.    Investment-based projects

    Investment projects are far more complex and challenging than donation-based projects. This is because the organisation responsible for the project invests money on behalf of others and so has legal obligations regarding the use and return of that money. The following briefly describes the available legal structures and provides examples operating in Australia. [40]

    The available legal structures can be divided into those most suitable for systems less than 100 kW and those most suitable for larger systems. The former are simpler to establish and operate, and are limited to 20 investors per year (the 20/12 Rule)[41] . In Australia, a hybrid approach is often used: with a ‘parent’ organisation using one type of structure, and a different type of legal structure for each renewable energy system (or group of systems). RePower Shoalhaven and ClearSky Solar use this approach.

    Less than 100 kW:
    •    incorporated association (RePower Shoalhaven)
    •    private company limited by shares (Farming the Sun; RePower Shoalhaven)
    •    unlisted public company limited by guarantee (ClearSky Solar)
    •    trust and trustee company (ClearSky Solar)

    More that 100 kW:
    •    unlisted public company limited by shares (SRPC, Sapphire)
    •    co-operatives (Hepburn Wind)
    •    listed public company. 

    There are currently no listed public companies that have been established for CORE projects, most likely because of the high cost in establishing and operating them.

    Farming the Sun has developed two separate 99 kW solar systems: one on Goonellabah Sports & Aquatic Centre and one floating at the East Lismore Sewage Treatment Plant. Each involved the establishment of a proprietary (private) company limited by shares (each with a maximum of 20 shareholders). Each raised $180,000 that was provided as unsecured loans to Lismore City Council at 5.5% over 7 years. Savings on electricity costs enable the Council to repay both the interest and capital of the loan. Returns to investors are paid annually, and target a fully franked dividend of around 3.7% per annum. This approach may also be suitable for Noosa, and it is possible that Farming the Sun would be happy to provide assistance.

    RePower Shoalhaven is an incorporated association where members can invest money in discrete renewable energy projects. Solar PV systems are installed behind the meter on host premises, which buy the electricity at reduced rates. For each solar system, or group of systems, a private company limited by shares is created which owns the system(s), and is limited to 20 investors per year. Once the system is paid off, it then becomes the property of the host site. Member investors are paid a return on their investment, with the capital also being returned. To date, 7 tranches of projects have been developed.[42]  This approach should be suitable for Noosa, and it is possible RePower Shoalhaven would be happy to provide assistance. The main difference to the Farming the Sun approach is that with Farming the Sun, the private company doesn’t own the PV system but just loans the money to the host site (which owns the system from day 1).

    ClearSky Solar Investments is a public company limited by guarantee. It is operated as a not-for-profit social enterprise. It helps to establish trusts as platforms for specific renewable energy projects. Investors can buy units in one of the trusts, with a maximum of 20 investors per project in a single year (the 20/12 Rule). This money is then passed to the for-profit installation company Smart Commercial Solar, who is contracted to own and operate the system. Smart Commercial Solar pays the trust an annual amount that consists of one seventh of the initial capital plus a revenue stream based on a value per kWh generated. This is then passed to investors after fees have been deducted. After seven years the host site owns the PV system. If this approach is to be used for Noosa, because of its complexity, it would most likely be best if ClearSky Solar was invited to manage a local project. ClearSky also have their dedicated installer, and so local installers could not be used. 

    Sydney Renewable Power Company (SRPC) is an unlisted public company limited by shares. A total of 519 shares were sold at $2,750 each, raising $1,427,250. It has funded Australia’s largest CBD solar array at the International Convention Centre in Sydney. Each year it expects to pay dividends and aims to also return capital to investors. This approach is not recommended for sub 100kW projects within Noosa because it: “faces all of the expensive disclosure requirements that come with that structure. It relies on volunteers to run the company under a public company governance framework. … Ongoing ASIC requirements are expensive and time-consuming and involve half- yearly reviews”. [43]

    Sapphire Wind Farm is an interesting and recent development where a community investment vehicle is being established to own part of the wind farm to be located between Inverell and Glen Innes in northern NSW. This investment vehicle will most likely be an unlisted public company limited by shares. In this case the investment vehicle will acquire the rights to a portion of the earnings from the wind farm but will have no decision-making power or control over the operation of the wind farm. The wind farm is being built by CWP Renewables, who contracted Taryn Lane (Akin Consulting) and Adam Blakester (Starfish Initiatives, who established Farming the Sun above), to investigate the community investment.  [44]

    Hepburn Wind is the trading name of Hepburn Community Wind Park Co-operative Ltd. It was established in 2007 by the Hepburn Renewable Energy Association (an incorporated association now known as SHARE). Is it the owner and operator of Australia’s first community-owned wind farm, which consists of two turbines totalling 4.1 MW, located at Leonards Hill.

    Once a cooperative is formed, members are allotted shares and a Board of Directors is elected. The board sets policies and establishes the business plan and the management deals with the day-to-day business. Renewable energy cooperatives would be classified as infrastructure cooperatives and so are required to undertake asset maintenance and renewal forward planning over the entire life of the infrastructure. Such cooperatives would normally be classified as a trading cooperative because they sell electricity to a third party. As such, they would be for-profit where income that isn’t distributed to the member shareholders would be taxable. This approach should be suitable for Noosa for larger-scale projects, although note that such a structure has significant ASIC reporting requirements.

    Some Qld-specific information on community-owned renewable energy projects can be found at the Energetic Communities Association website,[45]  and some more general information in the Community Power Agency’s ‘How To Guide’,[46]  and the Victorian Government’s ‘Guide to Community-Owned Renewable Energy for Victorians’. [47] Specific proposals for CORE projects in Noosa are discussed in Section 6.3.5.

    5.6.    Local Energy Trading

    Local Energy Trading (LET) [48] is basically where electricity produced by small generators (such as solar PV systems) can be sold directly to particular customers elsewhere on the grid. Although the name implies they are near each other, in fact there is also no upper limit to the distances between consumers and generators trading electricity – as long as they are on the same network. This is also called wheeling, where generation at one site is deemed to pass through the distribution system to a remotely located energy user. The most significant issue is negotiating the grid network charges that are applied to the transported electricity.

    Most organisations emerging in the LET field use blockchain technology (the technology that underpins Bitcoin). Local examples include Power Ledger (based in Perth) [49] and LO3 Energy (based in Byron Bay)[50] , and now SonnenFlat. It is also the subject of ‘desktop’ trials, such as by AGL in Melbourne. Blockchain technology uses software that tracks multiple transactions between peers in a very secure manner without a third-party facilitator (hence the term peer-to-peer trading). It can be used to track the amount of renewable electricity generated by different people/businesses, as well as manage the sale of that electricity, possibly to multiple buyers. This minimises involvement by third-parties, which should reduce costs, and so maximise the returns to owners of distributed generation systems. 

    One exception to the use of blockchain technology is the Australian start-up Nexergy,[51]  which uses simple reconciliation of transactions, where electricity is either sold into, or bought from, a general pool (rather than directly between peers). It also occurs in real time (the generation and use of the exported electricity occur at the same time) and from the customers’ point of view, is essentially the same as the blockchain approach. 

    For both these versions of LET, the electricity flows can be measured using technology such as smart meters, while the financial flows around electricity trading, and the financial accounting (ie. reconciliation of who owes who and how much) are handled by information technologies and innovative accounting systems. 

    LET options for Noosa can be broadly divided into two types: i) uses an embedded network, and ii) uses Energex’s network.

    5.6.1.    Embedded networks

    An embedded network is an electricity network attached by a single connection point to the main grid. The embedded network itself is not owned by Energex, but instead by a 3rd party. Examples include a greenfield urban development or within an industrial estate, apartment block, retirement village or caravan park. In such cases, a 3rd party could operate as a retailer, selling electricity to internal customers. This can already happen simply using sub-meters, however it gets more complicated if solar PV (or some other generator) is generating electricity within that network. In this case, LET can be used to distribute the financial costs and benefits within that embedded network. 

    A significant advantage of embedded networks is that when excess PV electricity is exported and used by a neighbour, no per kWh network charges will apply, which means that the owner of the PV system can get more for their export and at the same time the user can buy electricity for less that the normal retail rate. Another advantage is that with only a single point of connection to the grid, there is only one daily connection charge, rather than one for each customer. 

    The PV arrangement is generally divided into two types. One where a single larger PV system exports electricity to a number of customers (eg. an apartment block or businesses within a larger building), and one where each dwelling could have it’s own PV system that exports to other dwellings on the embedded network (eg. retirement villages). 

    Pseudo-embedded networks

    A third option has recently emerged that is currently being applied to apartments blocks. It is provided by Allume Energy and is where a single large PV system is separately wired ‘behind-the-meter’ to all the dwellings, and so doesn’t use the embedded network at all.[52]  PV is distributed to all residents in proportion to their instantaneous load. 

    Allume Energy has 2 possible business models at present:

    1)    The strata pays upfront for the PV system as well as the distribution equipment (wiring and metering). There is then a $5 per month per customer administration charge and the PV electricity is free.
    2)    Allume lease the roof from the strata (for $0), and pay for the PV and metering installation and sell generation to residents via a solar PPA set at less than the going retail rate for electricity. 

    This is approach can be used where the buildings are on Energex’s network (rather than on an embedded network) and the per kWh network charges can still be avoided, however each customer still has to pay a single daily connection charge.

    5.6.2.    Using Energex’s network

    Under current network arrangements, when a distributed generation system such as a PV system exports electricity to the grid, the owner of the PV system is paid only the costs avoided by the retailer – which are essentially the avoided wholesale electricity costs. This is because when that electricity is on-sold, the retailer must pay the full network costs. These costs will also apply when LET is used, although the third party operator of the LET system may charge less than a retailer. 

    Of course, it can be argued that the network payments should only cover the amount of the network used, which would be much lower than normal since the exporting PV system may be very close to the importing customer. In this way, LET can be used to reconcile payments between a generator and a customer where network charges are reduced in much the same way as they would be on an embedded network. Unfortunately this has not occurred to date in Australia.


    Footnotes:

    [27] This assumes the PV system has been well installed in the optimal orientation. 
    [28] http://www.embark.com.au/display/public/content/Darebin+Solar+Savers+model+description
    [29]http://solarsavers.org.au
    [30]  More information is available here https://www.qld.gov.au/housing/buying-owning-home/compare-solar-purchase-options
    [31]  https://onestepoffthegrid.com.au/wa-residential-solar-ppa-absolute-game-changer/ 
    [32]  https://onestepoffthegrid.com.au/low-income-homes-offered-no-cost-solar-batteries/  [33] One example is Matter, which at the time of writing cost $1,507 upfront per site, then an ongoing fee of $14/month, http://go.matter.solar/going-solar/. Another example is SunTenants, but this is yet to be officially launched - https://www.suntenants.com.
    [34]  https://www.suntenants.com
    [35]  http://matter.solar
    [36]  https://www.bluestarenergy.com.au/solar-pv/solar-landlords-tenants/ 
    [37]  https://onestepoffthegrid.com.au/rental-solar-scheme-targets-15000-queensland-investment-homes/ 
    [38]  http://www.corem.org.au/projects-2/ 
    [39]  https://corenafund.org.au
    [40]  The legal structure is different to the governance structure, where the latter relates to the set of processes by which an organisation makes decisions. Although the choice of legal structure does affect some aspects of how decisions are made, there is enough flexibility within Australian law to allow tailoring of the governance of an organisation within the chose legal structure.
    [41]  http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ca2001172/s708.html
    [42]  https://www.repower.net.au/projects.html   
    [43] ‘Funding Basics Guidebook for Community Energy Projects’ by Frontier Impact Group, https://www.frontierimpact.com.au/toolkit
    [44]  More information is available at the following link, especially in the FAQ pdf - http://www.sapphirewindfarm.com.au/community-investment/ 
    [45]  http://www.energeticcommunities.org.au
    [46] http://cpagency.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/CPAgency_HowtoGuide2014-web.pdf
    [47]  http://www.business.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/1407751/Community-Energy-Projects-Guidelines-Booklet.pdf
    [48]  Also sometimes called Virtual Net Metering.
    [49]  https://powerledger.io, for example at White Gum Valley in Fremantle, WA.
    [50]  http://lo3energy.com, for example in Brooklyn, New York.
    [51]  http://nexergy.co
    [52] https://allumeenergy.com.au

     

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    Repower Cooran

    "We, the people of Cooran have declared our village to be coal mine and gas field free. However, the reality is that over 98% of the electricity supplied to Cooran is generated by power stations using coal and gas.  To be truly free of using coal and gas we must go beyond simply keeping the coal and gas extraction industries out of our Shire and work towards eliminating our dependency on power generated from coal and gas. 

    Cooran Earth Rights in partnership with Zero Emissions Noosa has set an objective for Cooran to be a zero net user of coal and gas generated electricity by 2026. This would mean that our village would generate at least the same amount of electricity (using solar PV and/or other renewable alternatives) as it consumes.  

    The benefits would be:

    • Lower energy costs for the community;

    • Being a model for other communities to achieve the same objective;

    • Making a real contribution to reducing the effects of climate change."

    Declaration Day - Cooran Coal & Gas Field Free!

    Here's speech by Zero Emissions Noosa at Cooran Earth Rights celebration day for declaring Cooran coal and gas field free - August 11, 2018.  The goal is for the community to go 100% renewable electricity!

     

     

    Initial Presentation and Q&A

    Zero Emissions Noosa volunteers Michael Davis and Geoff Acton were invited to talk with the illustrious Cooran Earth Rights group on Tuesday 29 May.

    Thanks to the happy band out there for a warm welcome and stimulating dialog.  We look forward to it continuing.  Here's the presentation.

     

    Planning Meeting

    After some subsequent discussions, Cooran Earth Rights formed a subgroup (John Esson, Rebecca Somerville, Pam Scott-Holland, June ????) and invited Michael Davis & Geoff Acton to an initial planning session on 5th July.

    The planning session was based on a Strategic Conversation approach.  Refer to the guidance section in the embedded document below.

    Following the Strategic Conversation, a Proforma or Program Brief can be prepared (see bottom of this page)

    Where are we now? - Explore the situation

    Notes from the planning session are in the embedded document below

     

    The info below was also tabled as representing where we are now.........

    Also Mick's Powerpoint is at the bottom of this page....

    Add some embedded Google sheets here to display Energex & Clean Energy Regulator info

    **** TO DO ****

    • solar PV over time - see graphs below
    • solar PV prior to 44c FIT cutoff - (closed for applications 9 July 2012 for installation by 30 June 2013) - very approximately 400kW
    • solar HWS & heat pump HWS over time
    • note monthly consumption from Energex for Cooran postcode is not available as there are less than 50 business accounts
    • check adjacent postcodes to get reasonable estimate of solar feed-in for 4569
    • pick out relevant parts of census data
      • rentals
      • owners outright & mortgages
    • reference to Energy Queensland annual usage survey - 
      http://www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/RET/Forms-and-resources/Postcode-data-for-small-scale-installations#Postcode-data-files
    • number of pools

     

    Cooran Solar PV

    Av installs = 19 per year. Source: Clean Energy Regulator - http://www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/RET/Forms-and-resources/Postcode-data-for-small-scale-installations

    Cooran Solar PV

    Av installations = 99kW per year. Source: Clean Energy Regulator - http://www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/RET/Forms-and-resources/Postcode-data-for-small-scale-installations

     

    Census data for Cooran is here

    Energex derived data from Cooran Zone Substation.  Note that 4569 represents only about 25% of the load from this substation

    Midday tab shows the ZS load at midday for every day of the year.  The troughs occur on Sundays.

    The "duck" tab show the average Zone Substation load for every 30 minute slot over a month.  This clearly shows the morning & evening peaks, and the trough in the middle of the day.  You can also observe the peak at around 10;30pm when off-peak HWS kicks in.  It would be beneficial to shift this to around midday to allow it to act as a sponge for the peak solar generation.

     

     

     

     

    Where do we want to be? - Create Aspiration

    *** TO DO ***
    capture from butcher's paper - Mick

    Cooran coal & gas free declaration - exploration & mining

    98% grid electricity is from coal & gas - so aspiration

    Cooran nett zero emissions electricity - generate as much as we use

    Transport will also be a focus - but separate to this subgroup

    Heaps of community, environmental, social & sustainable aspirations to add in here

     

     

     

    HOW DO WE GET THERE? - DETERMINE STRATEGIES

    *** TO DO ***
    capture from butcher's paper
     

    Scroll the spreadsheet below to see some rudimentary calculations for how much solar would need to be added to achieve 100% renewable electricity.  It also includes an assumption for reduction in overall consumption through energy efficiency / waste reduction measures.

    Spreadsheet below (scroll to the right)  shows that

    • with 15% reduction in electricity usage
    • some 1600kW additional solar required to meet
    • BAU rate of solar growth is 100kW per year
    • goal is definitely achievable

     

    What steps do we need to take? - determine action plans

    Subject of next meeting

     

     

     

    Campaign Brief - Proforma

    This can be developed after the strategic conversation.

    This is suggested as a standard way of describing all Repower Noosa / Zero Emissions Noosa programs.

    It should be no longer than 2 pages.

    It can be included as an appendix in the Roadmap Report

    Together with other programs it will the subject of the Community Workshop on August 11.

     

    Following are the initial notes from the 5 July planning meeting.  Much of this info has been moved to other sections......

    The following embedded document shows guidance for how to conduct a strategic conversation.

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    First draft Roadmap report is now available

    Dr Rob Passey has provided us with a very first draft of the Roadmap report - dated 28 May 2018.

    Rob makes a few points:

    1.  I haven’t updated the modelling section yet.
    2. I’m waiting to hear back from Annie on community buildings getting solar.
    3. Do you know why the three schools Kin Kin, Federal and Tewantin are missing out on the solar schools program? Is it because they already have solar?
    4. There are some yellow highlighted comments to you/ZEN in there.

    You can get a PDF of the draft report here.

    Please provide any comments in the Comments section below.

     

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    Common questions asked in grant proposals

    As described in a previous post, the Proforma approach to defining and evaluating options to drive to 100% Renewable Electricity, can be extended to include common information requested in grant applications.

    This article for now is just a brain dump of relevant information required by some relevant grant bodies.

    SUEZ COMMUNITY GRANTS

    Timing: yearly grants

    • Project Name & Description(100 words max for description)
    • Project Objectives - List up to 5 specific objectives of your project (i.e. what are the benefits received by the participants involved / affected by the project).
    • Who will benefit? - The specific target population that will participate in and/or benefit from your project - including number of people, age, gender, region and other demographics.
    • Project Plan - Outline the specific activities that will take place to realise the project.
    • Project Risks - Outline any risks that could affect your project and how you plan to address them.
    • Project Sustainability & Evaluation - Is your project dependent on receiving a SUEZ Community Grant? Will your project continue after SUEZ Community Grant funding ceases? * Required
    • How will you evaluate the effectiveness of your project? - Outline how you will monitor / evaluate the objectives / outcomes of your project.
    • Project Budget - grant $ sought, in kind, other committed $

    Reference: http://suezcommunitygrants.com.au/

    NOOSA COUNCIL

    Economic Grants

    • Project Title & Summary
    • Describe the project outcomes.
    • Describe the extent to which your project aligns with and addresses key findings, weaknesses and/or threats, or targets the opportunities identified in the Local Economic Plan.
    • Describe the community benefit your project will deliver.
    • What is the scale of the economic impact likely to be achieved from your project?
    • Describe the level of innovation, insight or creative thinking that makes the project unique.
    • What is the potential for the project to create business/industry networks and partnerships that can drive future economic development activities?
    • Demonstrate the capacity of your organisation to successfully deliver the program over the projected time frame.
    • Upload your Project Plan
    • Please provide evidence of support from project stakeholders and partners and/or consortium members
    • Please describe the risks associated with this project.
    • Describe how you will mitigate these risks.
    • Please upload the meeting minutes that demonstrate your organisation's support for this application.
    • Project Budget

    Community Grants

     

    Three Year Community Alliance

     

    Reference: https://www.noosa.qld.gov.au/council-grants

    OTHERS

    Need a list of other sources & their criteria

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    Identifying options with legs - Strategic Conversations and using a Proforma

    As further detail is developed, each of the ideas to drive to 100% Renewable Electricity will be have their own section, and hopefully many of them will move to ongoing programs and projects.

    "the Roadmap project is about developing realistic options to reach the 100% Renewable Electricity goal - for Council, State Government, Business, Community Groups & residents"
    "the Roadmap is currently at the exploratory stage.  Once options gain wide support, they can be promoted as the Roadmap moves to a selling stage"

    Our goal is to develop realistic options to reach 100% Renewable Electricity - for potential implementation by Council, State Government, Business, Community Groups & residents.

    We are currently at the exploratory stage.  We have identified a range of possible options. 

    Now we need to look at these options more closely and decide which ‘have legs’ and which can be ruled out - on the basis for example that the cost and risk is clearly too high, or the impact on RE uptake is too uncertain, or we cannot identify an organisation which might agree to implement the initiative.

    Once we have produced a list of realistic possibilities - options ‘with legs’ - we can conduct public consultations to test the extent of likely support in the community.

    This will allow us to arrive at a set of realistic options for discussion with organisations which might choose to take on the implementation role.

    Next step: Identifying options ‘with legs’ - suggestion for a proforma

    Suggestion: Strategic Conversation about Options

    So we don't go straight to technologies solutions, it is suggested that we conduct some strategic conversations about the various options.

    This article explains in simple terms what the elements of a strategic conversation are.

    A: Where are we now? - explore the situation

    A conversation needs to begin with a thorough exploration of the area, structure, system or process under review. This part of the conversation involves reflection on past experience, discovery of new insights about what is really going on, as well as identifying specific problems that need to be addressed.

    B: Where do we want to be? - create aspiration

    Understanding the present helps us recognise the challenges we face, but does not create momentum for change. This is why the “B” space is so important. The group needs to shift gear into a different mental space, one of imagination and aspiration. We cannot generate any enthusiasm for change without a vision of how the future could be different, or a dream of what we would like to see in place. The tension between the present (“A”) and the future (“B”) creates the momentum for change and engages the desires of the individual members of the group.

    C: How do we get there? - determine strategies

    Knowing where we want to get to is a great step forward, but the conversation will ultimately remain fruitless unless we conceive some clearly-defined strategies for how to get there. This involves both invention (conceiving what we could do) and judgment (working out which options have the highest priority or would create the most leverage). This stage of decision-making and direction-setting is vital to crest the wave and build the downstream momentum.

    D: What steps do we need to take? - determine action plans

    Only at the end of the process do we start working on an action plan, by defining what needs to happen next to put our strategies in place, what the timeframes should be, who we will need to engage and what resources we will need.

    Stategic-Conversation-AcdB-diagram.jpeg

    Suggestion for ProForma

    On the journey to 100% Renewable Electricity for Noosa, we are currently at the exploratory stage in developing options about how we will reach it.

    Here are some suggestions for aspects of options that should be addressed in order to get better clarity, and to assist is assessing the relative merits of options in contributing towards the goal.

    • Name / title of option
    • Description
      • no more than 1/2 page
      • what does this option do?
    • Impact
      • why is this worth considering?
      • what are the benefits
        • impact on renewable electricity, ie impact on current approx 300GWh of Fossil Fuel generated electricity
        • economic - can a $$$ benefit be attributed?
        • social
    • Responsibility
      • who might implement this option?
    • Resources / Cost
      • very rough - order of magnitude
      • who bears the cost?
    • Relationship to existing programs
      • Need to show that this option does not duplicate any existing program
      • Useful to indicate any complementarity with existing programs.
    • Risks
      •  
    • Further Research Required
      • for example, Environmental Upgrade Agreements sound like a great idea, but further research is required to determine if this is possible with current legislation

    Expression of possible options using this proforma approach would allow a "traffic light" gating process to classify options as Yes, No or Maybe for the next stage of ‘selling’ to potential implementation organisations.

    Perfect preparation for Grant Applications

    Grant application opportunities come up often, and following Murphy's Law, most frequently when the band of volunteers are already stretched.

    Transforming ideas and options into defined programs and projects means we can be agile and response quickly to funding opportunities.

    An extension to the Proforma described above could include common information required for grant submissions.  This will be the subject of another article.

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    Roadmap Feedback - Butcher's paper from 3 community sessions

    Butcher’s paper feedback

    “I would like council to do the increase in the rates thing”
    Other ideas, Hinterland, Anon
    (I assume this is referring to Solar $avers)

    “Investigate current trials by Power Ledger (in WA) & recently new agreement with Japan.  Power Ledger is blockchain energy company(Australian)”
    Other ideas, Hinterland, Anon

    “Provide Business Case Template for Solar Investment”
    Commercial Sized Solar - Multi-Site Feasibility, Business, Anon

    “Demand Manager Pty Ltd interested in financing for community group roof & solar for schools as well as large scale solar”
    Commercial Sized Solar - Community Group Roof, Business, duyen@demandmanager.com.au

    “Break into ‘zones’ like Noosaville industrial estate, Noosa Civic, various local traders/business associations(leverage membership organisations). Hinterland townships(CBDs)”
    Commercial Sized Solar - Multi Site Feasibility, Business, Anon

    “Can we please have a clear source for independent, unbiased(no product seller) feasibility analysis. Consider learnings from regulated industries such as property valuers”
    Commercial Sized Solar - Multi Site Feasibility, Community, steven.boyd.retail@gmail.com

    “A very difficult concept to set up”
    Commercial Sized Solar - Landlord Tenant Agreements, Hinterland, Anon

    “Focus on maximising size of system, not optimum for ROI.  ROI max = small systems that don’t support morning & late afternoons”
    “Solar Analytics/Nigel Morris has a very ???? virtual power project between schools and homes of the students”
    “Consider EV charging stations to clip peak and demonstrate best practice for teachers, students and parents”
    Commercial Sized Solar - Solar for Schools, Community, Anon

    “The entire of the Noosa area households to install rooftop solar”
    Large Scale, Hinterland, Anon

    “Would like to link this facility with Cooran Earth Rights for all local residents interested in making the change”
    Residential - Energy Info Hubs, Hinterland, Anon

    “Interested in bulk buy deals - batteries (to connect with existing PV)
    Residential - Bulk Buys, Hinterland, Anon

    “Community based/owned bulk battery storage”
    Residential - Bulk Buys, Community, Noel Bird(Boreen Point)

    “Does anyone know (1) radiation levels from inverters (2) where should be placed on premises to minimise pollution & noise”
    Residential, Community, (Noel Bird’s partner)

    “EUAs”
    Residential - Landlord Tenant Agreements, Community, Anon

    “Need to get State Government, Property Council, LGAQ, Developers, Strata Title managers involved”
    Residential - Strata Titles, Community, Anon

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    Roadmap Feedback - submission by Don Parry

    Don Parry attended the Hinterland Community Consultation on May 2, 2018.

    Don has given extensive feedback and suggestions.

    Don Parry's Feedback to Community Consultations

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