Community Power Hub Ballarat

CPH Ballarat Stacked Logo Reversed on Blue

What is Community Power Hub Ballarat?

The Victorian Government committed over a two-year period to pilot setting up three Community Power Hubs (CPH) that bring together locals to develop community-owned and operated renewable energy projects in regional areas of Ballarat, Bendigo and the Latrobe Valley.
The aim of the pilot CPH’s was to bring together and help the community in accessing the skills and expertise required to develop and deliver community-based renewable energy projects. This involved local volunteers, businesses, community organisations, not for profit groups and government agencies working to organise and support local community energy project ideas. The approach has been to assist testing project ideas and progressing those that are viable into bankable projects delivering local benefits, and connecting them to capital to deliver.

Who Are The Parties Involved?

BREAZE was contracted by the Victorian Government to operate the CPH Ballarat Pilot Project from July 2017 until June 2019 and a Project Control Group was established with volunteers from BREAZE being supported by the Sustainability Victoria’s Grampians Region Strategic Coordinator.
The CPH Ballarat established a governance framework that required the Project Control Group to operate the project in accordance with the funding contractual terms and establish a Round Table reference group to create linkages with the broader Ballarat communities.
The PCG engaged specialist contractors through an advertised expression of interest process to ensure its feasibility studies, communications and public events were professionally delivered.
In August 2019 Sustainability Victoria granted a contract extension until June 2020 with the express intent of delivering additional feasibility studies, specifications and or plans for projects that were still under investigation at the conclusion of the initial 2 year period.

Our Projects

The following projects receiving feasibility studies provided by CPH Ballarat have been fully implemented:
• Ballan Community House Solar Electricity and Energy Efficiency Project (Funded by Hepburn Wind and Powershop)
• McCallum Disability Services Packing Facility 40kW Rooftop PV (Funded by Renewable Communities Fund)
• Coghills Creek Community Hall 6kW Rooftop Solar (Funded by Renewable Communities Fund)
• Skipton Hospital Straw Heating (Funded by Renewable Communities Fund)
• Invermay Recreation Centre Rooftop Solar (Funded by Committee of Management)

CPH Ballarat provided feasibility reports for the following projects that to date have not proceeded:
• Ararat Aquatic and Fitness Centre Biomass Heating
• Ballarat General Cemeteries Crematorium Heat Recovery and Reuse
• McCallum Linen Service Biomass Heating
• Victorian Timber Training Centre Biomass Powered Kilns

CPH Ballarat’s Flagship Project is entitled “emPowering East Grampians Health” as it involved analysis of East Grampians Health Services’ electricity and gas consumption and opportunities to provide behind the meter alternative supplies through rooftop solar, heat pumps, biomass heating and energy efficiency innovations. The analysis showed the potential to install 225kW of PV panels across its Ararat and Willaura campus facilities and was accepted by the EGHS Board in principle to proceed in early 2019. A subsequent business case was prepared by CPH Ballarat which maximised PV opportunities by using additional roof area and creating carpark shelters with PV panels. The initial stages have been implemented progressively since December 2019 after a tender process awarding the works to Cola Solar.

Our Current Projects Under Investigation

Mollongghip and District Community Power – Investigating opportunities for farm enterprises and rural residential properties to access locally generated green energy and reduce energy and irrigation costs for local agricultural enterprises.

Public Car Parking with Solar Rooftop - Building on the initial business case for the “emPowering EGHS” project we are developing standardised designs that can transform public carparking areas into covered parking with the benefits of PV arrays and where appropriate electric vehicle charging and rainwater collection.

Carbon Neutral Buninyong Project - Similar to the Mollongghip District Community Power, a whole village approach including large commercial entities is working with the Buninyong Community Bank and Federation University to see if increased rooftop solar can be provided to transition from mains gas to renewable energy and to identify a regional carbon offsetting initiative for the residual fossil fuel derived stationary energy consumption.

Ballarat General Cemeteries Solar Project - Following the acceptance of recommendations made by CPH to the Cemetery Trust to implement electric small plant and equipment, variable speed drive irrigation pumps and rationalise meter connections, we are revisiting the opportunities for rooftop, floating (on irrigation dam) and ground mounted PV arrays to provide renewable energy and further reduce electricity costs.

For Further Information:  Contact CPH Ballarat Project Control Group Representative Ian Rossiter  phone 0467 220 442