Our partner, a local Australian company, Flow Power, will provide 100% GreenPower-accredited electricity linked to the Newstead solar farm when it comes on line and begins generating electricity from July 2024.

Even though construction is not due for completion until June and the the Newstead Solar Farm is not yet generating electricity for commercial sale, you can sign up as a Flow Power customer now.

If you do, and your electricity supply address is in or near Newstead, you will receive electricity via the grid that’s billed from one of Flow Power’s other renewable energy generation sites, at Karadoc near Ouyen, until such time as the Newstead Solar Farm comes online and begins to generate electricity. (Flow Power sources power from renewable energy sources – solar and wind - exclusively.)

The Flow Power website will tell you about them and about buying their electricity, but we thought you might also like to hear from RN. Our short summary explains more about Flow Power's electricity retail costing, benefits and how to make sure your account is linked to the Newstead Solar Farm.

Great news.

Construction of the Newstead Solar Farm is under way and will be completed in the first quarter of 2024.

Households in Newstead will be able to sign up to source their electricity from the farm next year.*

What you can see happening now

Solar tracking systems are going in.

Solar panels will be installed next.

What’s yet to happen

Battery to be installed and connected

Power line to be extended from the Pyrenees Highway to the site

Panels to be connected. (Underground wiring will mean sheep can graze beneath the panels.)

Watch out for two key next steps in the first half of next year. They are:


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!

Guide to electricity retailers

A new guide will help you check if your electricity provider or retailer is helping or harming the planet.

RN's partner Flow Power, who will retail electricity from our planned solar farm near Newstead, is not listed. Yet. That's because they haven't started retailing electricity to households in Victoria yet. We're expecting an announcement on that soon.

Meantime, check if your electricity retailer/biller makes it to the Top 10 'green' retailers here.

You can also watch this clip about the guide here

Have you been to Streaky Bay in South Australia recently?

There you’ll see a small-scale solar farm (3.10MW) that's slightly smaller than ours is planned to be (5MW in two stages).

It’s owned by the same company, Flow Power, that will build, own and operate our solar farm. The Streaky Bay solar farm supplies power mostly to South Australia’s Western Eyre Peninsula.

Our solar farm will be developed in two stages, each of 2.5MW and each with a 2MW battery.

Stage 1 is expected to over about eight hectares. The solar panels will cover about 35per cent of this area. Their size and dimensions are yet to be finalised.

The panels will track the sun from east to west each day and will be recyclable. They will be in rows 80-100 metres long with enough space between rows to allow access and to avoid significant inter-row shading.

A same sized second stage is planned and will go ahead is there is successful uptake of the first.stage.

Subscribe to our newsletter here for updates on the final design as soon as it becomes available.

In 2022 Newstead will start using the sun to generate power for our community.

Come & learn more on December 5 & 12

It’s nearly Christmas and we’re getting excited too because we are in the throes of finalising the contract to build our community-driven renewable energy project on Newstead’s outskirts in 2022.

Come and find out all about it on:

  • December 5: at Newstead on Show. Visit the Renewable Newstead stall. Meet new and long-time members of our RN team, ask questions & express interest in buying your power from the Newstead Solar Farm. Plus hear a special 20-minute project presentation from 10.15am. Newstead on Show - 10am-4pm at the Newstead Community Centre, Lyons St, Newstead.
  • December 12: Community gathering – This public forum is open to all, especially households and businesses in and around Newstead keen to support our project. 9.30am-11am at the Newstead Community Centre, Lyons St, Newstead

Find out things like:

  • what’s planned – what the Newstead Solar Farm will look like
  • equipment – the panels, inverters and battery (so energy can be stored for use at night) to be used
  • how ‘green’ our project is
  • who will be able to buy their electricity from the Newstead solar farm
  • planned construction timelines
  • what you can do to make our community’s dream to be powered by renewable energy come true

You’ll hear directly from the director and founder of our chosen partner, Flow Power, about why they’re keen to be involved in our community-driven project, how their values match ours and how competitive their power prices will be.

You’ll get a rundown from the RN team including on our 2022 countdown to construction, have plenty of opportunity to ask questions and hear how you can help make our community’s dream for our local renewable energy project come true.

Like prospective life partners, bringing our community and our solar farm builders/electricity retailers together feels a bit like introducing “the parents” to each other.

We think you’ll like them.