Local residents, holiday homeowners, organisations and businesses have the opportunity to help shape the region’s renewable energy future through a local planning process to produce a Renewable Energy Roadmap for the Bass Coast and South Gippsland Shires.
People from across the Shires are invited to collectively identify and articulate local opportunities and challenges, and produce an informed account of this sub-region’s renewable energy potential. The Roadmap will include both key opportunities and a set of recommendations to guide government, community and business on pathways for realising these opportunities.
“Focussing on Bass Coast and South Gippsland, the project will bring a broad range of people together to discuss and synthesise renewable energy aspirations into an agreed vision for our sub-region” said Moragh Mackay, Project Leader. “Together we will identify renewable energy opportunities that can maximise and share the benefits with local communities and our regional economy emerging from our transforming energy system” said project Co-ordinator Moragh.
The project is being co-ordinated by the Gippsland-based community energy group Energy Innovation Co-operative (EICo-op), in partnership with Community Power Agency (CPA), leaders in enabling community participation in transitions to renewable energy, and Mondo, leaders in solutions for generating, managing, storing and sharing energy. The project co-ordination team is working closely with a Project Control Group (PCG) including representatives from Gippsland Climate Change Network, Bass Coast Shire, South Gippsland Shire, Latrobe Valley Community Power Hub, Sustainability Victoria and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
The Roadmap will be developed through a series of community-wide workshops, one-on-one meetings and an online survey. This will enable people from the local community to shape the vision and outline their preferred ways for being involved. The workshops will also be informed by electricity network analysis to help identify suitable types, sizes and locations of additional renewable energy generation.
“We are facilitating two rounds of stakeholder and community engagement, with the aim of involving a broad cross section of local residents, holiday homeowners, organisations and businesses in identifying how to make the most of local opportunities and bring benefit to the Bass Coast and South Gippsland areas” said Moragh. The first round (May-June) will gather aspirations and opportunities for local renewable energy and present technical information along with sharing and discussion of projects or plans underway. The second round (September-October) will present a synthesis of these discussions and provide an opportunity to review and refine the draft Roadmap, ahead of its finalisation in December.
“This iterative approach of presenting technical assessments and then surfacing and discussing renewable energy opportunities will enable co-evaluation of all the information by people across the sub-region. We want to ensure the Roadmap is informed by people working together through a process that builds agreement around the opportunities and pathways to achieve them, whilst also establishing or strengthening relationships amongst people who ideally will continue working together to implement the Roadmap recommendations” said Moragh.