In a small Victorian country town either famous or infamous for Mel Gibson once owning the Bridge Hotel; the filming location for Strange Bed Fellows and more recently the birthplace of Gum Tree Pies, Yackandandah‘s legendary status has grown. Since 2014, the community of Yackandandah in regional Victoria created “Totally Renewable Yackandandah” (TRY), and as the name suggests the town is working to reduce their climate impact. Since then, they have actively promoted renewable energy and the benefit to the community. The goal of 100% renewable by 2027 is within reach, with the township currently nearing 60% solar installation.
The folk of ‘Yack’ are such bright sparks that they are also garnering energy produced by the PV systems through battery storage. While we are all familiar with the large commercial type batteries that are on the horizon, Yackandandah have created their own community owned facility. With funding from the Victorian government, 30 to 40 ‘Yack’ homes can now be powered each evening. While this may not seem many at this stage, this is a pilot project investigating the feasibility of community batteries and integration into the grid.
The locals have not only reduced their emissions collectively but are also saving money. This equates to more money that can go back into community groups rather than utility costs. As a social experiment, the add on benefit has assisted in research around reliability of the grid and how renewables can be included.
Having a clear strategy and focus, Yackandandah is well placed to reach its 100% renewable energy target by 2027 and is even discussing islandability, whereby they can operate independent of the grid during times of emergency.
(Source: Totally Renewable Yackandandah Community Report 100% Feasibility Study Outcomes available totallyrenewableyack.org.au)
For more information
Totally Renewable Yackandandah totallyrenewableyack.org.au
Yackandandah Old Sawmill Image Photo by Indigo Power (Source: https://totallyrenewableyack.org.au/)