RN partner Flow Power supports community visioning

Flow Power is kicking in to help fund Newstead’s community visioning day on September 10. Flow Power will build, own and operate our solar farm and retail the electricity to customers. They didn’t want to blow their trumpet about this so we’re doing that for them. Thanks Flow Power.

So, what’s your vision for Newstead?

Local groups are asked to bring project ideas they’d like developed and supported to the Community Visioning Day on Sept 10. It’s at the Newstead Community Centre starting at 10.45am for 11am. Be there to add your say on next big community priorities for Newstead. For details, check this month’s Newstead Echo edition online or the paper edition available at the Newstead Milk Bar, RTC and other local outlets.

Renewable Newstead (RN) is seeking a writer who can tell our story.

The story will be about social licence; it will be about technical feasibility; it will be about economic and financial feasibility; it will be about community engagement; and, it will be about the changing public policy environment. The RN story started more than 10 years ago and will be complete in the 12 months but we want the story to be substantially written soon because lots of people are interested in our experiences. Click here for more information.

Construction is about to begin on our cutting-edge clean energy project right here in Newstead.

Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Action, The Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio, MP and Member for Bendigo West, The Hon. Maree Edwards, MP joined the Renewable Newstead and Flow Power teams and traditional landowner’s Dja Dja Wurrung representatives on-site for the commencement of the energy projects construction today.

Thanks to the partnership between Renewable Newstead and renewable energy transition company Flow Power, and with support from the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning, construction is set to begin for a 3MW solar farm and a 5MWh battery energy storage system, that features a unique and Victorian-first Direct Current (DC) coupled system.

The battery system will provide additional benefits with the ability to feed into the grid at times of low sunshine and outside daylight hours. The 6.2 hectare site will include 80-100m rows of panels, 6m apart and include a tracking system to follow the sun and provide maximum energy production.

The site is on the traditional lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung people. A Cultural Heritage Management Plan has been developed and will guide the care of this country during the construction and operation of the energy project.

The construction is expected to take around 9 months and the energy project is expected to be operational by July 2023.

If you are a Newstead local and potential customer, you can register your expression of interest here!

A small crowd attended our community gathering in Newstead on September 15 to hear the great news that Newstead’s solar farm has the green light to go ahead.

After years of negotiations and work, we are delighted that our partner, Flow Power, has declared their support for the project and will begin construction in earnest in the first quarter of next year.

The project includes a three megawatt (MW) solar farm, capable of producing more than enough energy for Newstead, and a battery that can store 5MW hours of energy.

The battery will store excess solar power generated and then dispatch it into the grid as required. This may be at night or when it’s cloudy and the panels aren’t collecting much solar energy.

Local people will be able to become Flow Power customers and know that their energy is the greenest energy available.

Flow Power’s Head of Energy Projects, Tom Harrison, and Project Engineer Lachlan O’Brien attended the meeting. They answered detailed questions about the site, the storage battery and management plans.

They said having a relationship with the local Renewable Newstead team helped bring the project to fruition.

The company owns at least 11 other energy generating ‘farms’ around Australia. Most are solar. Two harvest energy using wind.

Renewable Newstead, with the help of a $1.1 million Victorian Government grant, will pay the landholder lease costs and the cost to connect the farm to the electricity grid.

Some of our Renewable Newstead volunteers also attended to share information about different aspects of the farm.

Project stalwart and RN volunteer Don Culvenor said Newstead could be very proud of its solar farm.

He said, though small, Newstead’s solar farm and its development will have many ground-breaking lessons for Victoria.

Don said having the solar farm based here could spark other green energy projects locally and might attract businesses wanting to source green energy.

We understand that, at this stage, many locals may not know much about the solar farm or what it could mean for them. We want to change that.

We want to help you understand how the farm can benefit your household/ business and our community and why you can be proud of having it here.

Please keep in touch with our news here and also feel free to contact us with any questions you have and we'll try our best to answer (and we'll try to pop them up on our Q and A page here).

Thanks for your continued support.
The Renewable Newstead team

Thursday 15th September, 6pm - 8pm

At the Newstead Community Centre (the building next to the supermarket)

Find out what’s happening with the small-scale solar farm and storage battery proposed near Newstead.

We will outline:

  • What will be built and likely construction period
  • How to sign up to buy your electricity from the farm
  • The benefits for you and our community.

Please come along!