Minister d'Ambrosio launches Grampians CPH

Hub

BREAZE Inc., lead partner on the Grampians Community Power Hub (CPH) and Hepburn branch partner, Hepburn Wind, were delighted to have the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio, launch the Grampians CPH on Friday the 12 November 2021. The Launch, held at Halls Gap Botanical Gardens was also attended by Mayor Tony Driscoll of Northern Grampians Shire, Alicia Darvall, Director of Regions and Partnerships, Sustainability Victoria, members of the Community Association of Halls Gap, members of the G-CPH Roundtable Advisory Group representing Horsham, Yarriambiack, Wimmera Development Association, and members of Pomonal Power.

Aptly situated in Halls Gap, right in the glorious heart of the Grampians region, the launch celebrated the Grampians CPH - which is being delivered by Sustainability Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Government. The launch coincides with the G-CPH's announcement of a feasibility study for an off-grid SolarPV/inverter/battery installation to bring power into teh gardens without poles and wires, to assist  local volunteers from the Community Association of Halls Gap, who care for and manage the Halls Gap Botanic Gardens, which showcase Grampians-Gariwerd native flora.

Gift for Lily dAmbrosioMargo Siestma, Convenor Halls Gap Botanical Gardens, who spoke at the launch, presented Minister d'Ambrosio with a book on Gariwerd plants of the Gardens.

The Community Association of Halls Gap has proposed the installation of rooftop solar PV and a battery for energy storage on the existing buildings. These buildings currently operate without power and include a visitor’s shelter, office, and workshop. The use of renewable energy ties in with a holistic sustainable management plan for the gardens and will complement the current educational objective of the gardens on native flora.


“We are really looking forward to meeting the BREAZE team to learn the best way to install solar power on the Botanic Gardens buildings. We are very much excited about the prospect of having lighting and power to charge electronics such as tools and laptops.” Margo Sietsma, Convenor Halls Gap Botanical Gardens.

Pending implementation funding, the project will bring many benefits to those who utilise the Halls Gap Botanical Garden buildings and visitor’s shelter – local schools, interest groups and wedding parties – including lighting and  audiovisual presentations .   The office, which is utilised by volunteers, will have access to lighting and the use of kitchen appliances and office equipment. The workshop will also reap these power advantages with access to lighting, charging of equipment and garden water timers.

Overall, the addition of power to the site will increase visitors to the Gardens and contribute to the local economy. The site complements the national park experience and provides ready access to popular destinations such as Venus Baths and Chatauqua Peak.


Peter Boadle,Peter Boadle and Alicia Darvall
 BREAZE Inc. Board, and member of the Grampians CPH Project Control Group, said:
“It’s fantastic to see the Community Association of Halls Gap put their hand up for a community energy project for power to be provided at the Botanical Gardens. A big part of the Grampians CPH is being able to assist local communities with their own energy, and while this project is really quite straightforward, it is a great example of how we can help the community meet their energy needs with simple solutions.

MORE ON THE GRAMPIANS COMMUNITY POWER HUB:

The Hub's role is primarily about identifying projects and getting them 'shovel-ready,' via strategic networking and expertise – funding feasibility studies or development of a business case. Communities themselves need to drive project funding and implementation – although the Hub will assist with identifying funding pathways.

Engaging with communities across the Grampians region, the CPH will assist the development of projects that might range from small scale solar PV and micro-grids to larger community-scale battery or utility wind and solar.

 

Mary Debrett, BREAZE Inc. President and Grampians CPH Project Control Group said:

“Getting a community energy project up and running takes collaborative effort and perseverance but the pay-off is fantastic – cuts in GHG emissions, energy cost savings, and energy resilience, particularly important when bushfires hit.”

BREAZE Inc, join six other organisations in Sustainability Victoria's expanded regional CPH program: Loddon Mallee hosted by Bendigo Sustainability Group; Barwon South West hosted by Geelong Sustainability Group; Hume hosted by Indigo Power; Gippsland hosted by Gippsland Climate Change Network. The 2021 program also includes two metropolitan CPHs - Yarra hosted by Yarra Climate Action Network and Healesville hosted by Healesville CORE Group.