The Gippsland Smart Futures Series has been adapted from an full day event into a free 5-part webinar series exploring Gippsland’s renewable energy future. The topics ranged from showcasing upcoming large-scale energy developments, our local communities and sporting groups who are embracing new opportunities, to providing webinars on practical talks about financing your own community energy projects.

Other events still to come later on in the year include the Playing the Climate Game dinner, an open Energy Marketplace to learn more about local services and initiatives you can use as well as a workshop on what opportunities are out there for you to the increase energy efficiency within your home. These will be subject to Covid-19 restrictions and advice.

Playing the Climate Game

Light Dinner included, places limited - new date still to be announced

Hosted by the Wellington Shire. A regional gathering for the sports and recreational community to unite around sustainability and climate change. Sports administrators, players, facility managers and the general community are encouraged to come along to learn and foster dialogue around the impacts of climate change on grassroots sports in Gippsland.

  • Sharni Layton (AFLW) - Collingwood player and former Australian Netballer
  • Dr Sheila Nguyen (Sport Environment Alliance) - Sport & Planet: likely allies in our fight for our clean future
  • John Clarke (CSIRO) - Gippsland Climate Projections in the context of sport
  • Prof Dara Twomey (Fed Uni) - Playing surface and heat safety in current climates: What do we know.
  • Jarod Hill (SportEng) - Natural vs Synthetic Playing Surfaces - Sustainable Options for the future
  • Darren Randle (WSC) - Practical application of playing surface upgrades - a warm season grass trial at Baldwin Reserve

For further details or enquires please contact Jo on 51423042 or joannar@wellington.vic.gov.au

A full program with guest speakers will be provided in due course.

The Webinar Series

  • Part 1: Large-scale Renewable Energy Projects (6th May)
  • Part 2: Local Community Energy Hubs (20th May)
  • Part 3: Townships Implementing Community Energy (3rd June)
  • Part 4: Financing Community Energy Solutions (17th June)
  • Part 5: Community Energy for Sporting Clubs (1st July)

Part 1: Large-scale Renewable Energy Projects

Three large-scale renewable projects in Gippsland will change the face of renewable energy capacity in this region and are leading the way with innovative energy solutions for our future energy needs. Hosted by Darren McCubbin, Chair of the Gippsland Climate Change Network. STAR OF THE SOUTH: Australia’s first offshore wind project and located off the coast of Gippsland in Victoria, it will provide a reliable and consistent source of energy to power up to 1.2 million homes while also while creating thousands of jobs. DELBURN WIND FARM: Aims to be an iconic wind farm overlooking the now-closed Hazelwood Power Station. The proposed development site in the Strzelecki Ranges within commercial pine plantations and will complement existing use and harvesting. THE GIPPSLAND RENEWABLE ENERGY PARK: Located on 5,800 acres of dry marginal farming land and will be able to dispatch power 24/7 via 500MW of solar supported by 500 megawatt hours of batteries.

Part 2: Local Community Energy Hubs

Community-based networks in South and Central Gippsland are helping to coordinate regional community renewable energy solutions. Hosted by Heidi Hamm from Sustainability Victoria, this webinar will showcase some of the locally owned and cost-effective renewable projects on the ground and in the pipeline for Gippsland. Chris Barfoot, Project Manger for the LATROBE VALLEY COMMUNITY POWER HUB spoke about how the Hub support locals to realise their community-owned and operated renewable energy projects by removing existing barriers, providing technical advice and linking people to funding, networking and other opportunities. Peter McKernan, the Design Engineer for the LICOLA WILDERNESS VILLAGE upgrades which included 600 solar panels and two large batteries systems as an alternative to spending $135,000 per year in diesel generation. John Coulter, Project Manager for the ENERGY INNOVATION CO-OPERATIVE's ‘Old Energy-New Energy Project’, 91 kW of solar panels and 41 kWh battery storage installed at Victoria’s former State Coal Mine in South Gippsland, as well as the Community Owned Renewable Energy (CORE) fund which provides no-interest loans to community groups to install renewable energy.

Part 3: Townships Implementing Community Energy

Hosted by Moragh Mackay from The Latrobe Valley Authority, this webinar followed three townships paving the way for community based renewable energy systems. Hear about how they come together, shared their visions, stayed focused and embraced new technology. The MIRBOO NORTH COMMUNITY ENERGY HUB is a community owned organization and their presentation was about their feasibility study and first project, the Hall Project solar PV installation. How it was financed, developed and implemented as well as some challenges along the way. MY TOWN MICROGRID: HEYFIELD is about a pilot or new approach with community at the helm investigating options in determining a viable path to navigate implementing community energy. TOTALLY RENEWABLE PHILLIP ISLAND is about the first community in Bass Coast to embrace the challenge of going 100% renewable.

Part 4: Financing Community Energy Solutions

Hosted by Dr Moragh MacKay from the Latrobe Valley Authority, this interactive meeting included short presentations about four potential pathways for raising capital and financing community energy projects. Virtual break-out rooms offered participants in-depth discussions with speakers about their approach and how you might be able to apply these. Only the presentations were recorded. Dan Cowdell from the GEELONG SUSTAINABILITY GROUP spoke about their Community Owned Solar Financing Model designed for community investment in local solar projects. Robin Holt is from BIRCHAL, which is the leading equity crowdfunding platform in Australia. A designed platform that makes raising funds through equity crowdfunding simple, efficient, and cost-effective. Aaron Yew from OXAMII introduced the People’s Grid Energy Marketplace launched in South Australia this year. And John Coulter from the ENERGY INNOVATION CO-OPERATIVE spoke about the Southern C.O.R.E. fund which provides no interest loans to local community groups to install renewable technology.

Part 5: Community Energy for Sporting Clubs

An increasing number of sporting facilities are considering their environmental footprint and turning to variety of renewable energy options that also reduce their electricity bills. This webinar was hosted by Joanna Rule, Sustainability Officer for the Wellington Shire. GIPPSLAND REGIONAL AQUATIC CENTRE - designed to have a strong sustainability focus, the Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre will be the first public aquatic facility in Victoria to incorporate a geothermal heating system. An environmentally friendly sustainable energy source, geothermal energy will assist in significantly reducing carbon footprint while also aiding in energy costs savings of around $370,000 per year. SALE TENNIS COURTS - the installation of solar with battery storage to take advantage of capturing energy during the day and then use it to power our lights at night. To date they have produced 11.31MWh of electricity which has meant a saving of over $5,200 within the past 10 months. YINNAR SOLAR FOOTPATH - Lighting of the one-kilometre path from the Yinnar town centre to the Recreation Reserve was a high priority community project as it was too dangerous to walk on after dusk. The costs of reticulated lighting were too expensive; however solar lighting was significantly cheaper and a more environmentally friendly option.

Gippsland Smart Future Series Partners