Seven community power hubs are receiving funding, with Yarra Energy Foundation (YEF) based in Richmond to lead the first one dedicated to communities in metropolitan Melbourne.
YEF will collaborate with community energy groups, providing support, funding, and local expertise.
Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, “Our Community Power Hubs will be working on the frontline, helping small businesses and community organisations to be a part of the renewables revolution. This is all a part of our plan to halve emissions by 2030.
“These community-owned and operated hubs will bring local renewable energy projects to life, drive investment in regional Victoria, create jobs and reduce energy bills.”
YEF’s Chief Executive Officer, Dean Kline, said, “We are very excited to be leading the first Power Hub based in metropolitan Melbourne.
“Suburban and inner-city areas are facing different challenges to regional areas, such as smaller roof spaces, more tenanted buildings, and less land for installations like wind or solar farms.”
Mr Kline said that the new ‘Metro Hubs’ can address some of these challenges and involve more people in the energy transition, whilst unlocking more community-owned energy projects across the metropolitan area.
“We’ve seen incredible momentum for renewables in Australia, but many on the frontlines of the energy transition still need guidance and technical support.
“Thanks to Sustainability Victoria and the Victorian Government, we can deliver that much needed support,” Mr Kline said.
From 2017-2019, the Victorian Government funded three successful power hubs which reduced 1,800 tonnes of carbon emissions per year, created 16 local jobs, and generated over $11 million in the local economy.
The Metropolitan Hub will connect with councils and community climate groups in surrounding local council areas, including Yarra, Port Phillip, Darebin, Glen Eira, and others, and is planned to run until mid-2022.
Community groups include the Port Phillip Emergency Climate Action Network, Darebin Climate Action Network, Yarra Climate Action Network, Lighter Footprints, and others.