Update on our Activities

Despite the restrictions imposed by lockdowns, the Community Power team have been busy.

You will recall that we were successful in attracting grant funding to install an energy storage battery at the Community Centre. We’ve now finalised tenders for the equipment supply and installation, and are pleased to confirm local electricians JohnoElec will be working with us. We are currently liasing with Council to finalise the battery enclosure design and hope to engage the help of the local Men’s Shed in building the structure to house the nearly 30kW of battery capacity.

Our e-trading scheme is very close to being ready to progress to the trial phase. The trial will test the concept of energy exchange between participating community members, using the unique software platform developed by our scheme partner. We had been delayed by the final developments of the platform, and changes in the regulated energy tariff structures that came into effect for the new financial year. Our pricing has now been finalised. We believe our offer will be competitive for both energy consumption and feed-in. We’ve always believed that we needed to offer competitive rates to underpin our model and our vision of Sandy Point moving towards being a renewable energy community.

The e-trading scheme is the first of several steps in our exciting journey to a self-sufficient renewable energy township. Through our e-trading partnership we are participating in a grant application through the Victorian State Government’s Energy Innovation Fund that will, if funded, see the establishment of a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) for Sandy Point. The project would include a mix of renewable energy generation and storage at residential, commercial, and community buildings at a scale required for energy self-sufficiency. The scheme would offer participants access to subsidised solar and battery installations. The grant round closes late September, with successful applicants being notified in November. We will update you in the next newsletter.

We’d love to hear from you if you’d like more information or if you’d like to get involved with our team. Please contact us on energytrading@sandypoint.vic.au

A Community Energy Project for Sandy Point

State Government Subsidies

There are currently State Government rebates and no-interest loans available under the Solar Homes Program. They provide eligible Victorian households with a rebate of up to 50% of the purchase cost to install solar PV panels. The rebate is up to $1,850, currently about half the value of an average 4kW solar PV system. 

To further reduce costs, owner-occupiers can apply for an interest-free loan, for an amount equivalent to their rebate amount.  In line with the existing rebate, the new interest-free loan can be applied up to an amount of $1,850. So, if your total system cost is less than $3,700, there will be no up front cost.  The loan is required to be repaid over four years, or can be repaid sooner in one lump sum. If you're interested, check out the website: https://www.solar.vic.gov.au/solar-panel-rebate

The Solar Homes Program is also supporting eligible Victorian households to install a solar battery, by providing a point of sale discount up to a maximum of $4,174.and are now available in every Victorian postcode. Solar battery rebates will remain at up to $4,174 until 30 June 2021. The eligibility criteria and application process can be found at https://www.solar.vic.gov.au/solar-battery-rebate

Sandy Point Community Power recommends that we use our qualified local solar and battery installers.