Key Result/Vision: A community which is self-reliant in our energy needs with a minimal ecological footprint and a model for other communities.
Goal 1: Local production, local storage and local distribution of renewable energy is optimised.
Goal 2: Energy demands of the community are minimised.
Goal 3: Community Awareness and Energy Literacy is high.
(See the full plan here.)
News and Updates...
Have You Checked Your Solar Array lately? It is important to monitor your system to ensure it is performing as it should be.
2016 Community Sustainability Survey included a number of questions relating to energy and you can find the full Report on the results of the survey here.
Appliance Replacement Offer Have you got a fridge which is 6 years old or older? Or a plasma or CRT TV? OEH Energy Efficient Appliance Replacement Offer NSW Office of Environment and Heritage is offering discounts on new energy efficient fridges and TVs so you can replace your old inefficient models. New appliances can cut your energy bills, improve your household and family living costs and help protect our environment. 40% discount on fridges and 50% on TVs. For more info and to apply on line see the website.
Life Beyond the Feed In Tariff - The session was a great success with nearly 100 people attending. Watch this space for links to articles and some of the recordings. You can also check out the Infographic we handed out on the day.
Smart Meter Signal Strength - There was info given on the day regarding the strength of the smart meter signals. It has been pointed out to us that the information given is not supported by the research undertaken in Victoria, which indicates that smart meters have a similar power output to mobile phones, only transmitting every 4 hours instead of every 30 seconds, and much further away from the human body. The radiation is less than that produced by many other household appliances and less than some current analogue meters.See http://www.smartmeters.vic.gov.au/about-smart-meters/reports-and-consultations/ami-meter-em-field-survey-report
Nonetheless, we understand that people have concerns about any radiation and the aggregated effect of more and more devices coming on line.
At the info session we provided a Handout from the Report on “Life After FiTs” by the Alternative Technology Association commissioned by the Total Environment Centre. The full report is available on the Solar Citizens website plus a 1 minute video: http://www.solarcitizens.org.au/life_after_fits
The Story of the Nimbin Community Solar Farm
The Nimbin Community Solar Farm was the first of its kind in Australia and was officially switched on in March 2011. 
The 45kWh farm was located across 6 community-owned buildings and between 2011 and December 2016 exceeded its annual generation target of 61,000 kWh per year. The solar farm operated as a farm and generated income for NNIC and the Host organisations during that period. When the gross feed-in-tariff ceased on 31 December 2016 the farm was no longer abble to generate income and so we supported the Host organisations to analyse their electricity use and make adjustments in order to enable their transition to net metering and obtain the highest value from the arrays installed at their sites. In early 2017 the ownership and operation of the arrays was transferred to each of the host organisations, and continue to generate power for those organisations and contribute to a reduced community-level carbon footprint.
We officially celebrated the completion of the Solar Farm installations on Thursday 31 March 2011 at the Nimbin Bowlo.
To see the NBN News coverage of the event click here
Click here to see the Solar Farm LIVE!!
Due to our local climate and the price/availability of land, bioenergy may be more viable in the Northern Rivers than other large scale renewable energy generation.
NNIC was the lead agency for the NR Biohubs consortium, which in 2016 commissioned pre-feasibility assessments of three bioenergy sites at Nimbin, Murwillumbah and Casino.
NEW!! The Pre-Feasibility report into the Casino and Murwillumbah bio-hubs is NOW AVAILABLE here. You will also find the Report into the Social Licence investigations conducted as part of the bio-hubs project.
This project builds on the work of Sustain Energy - a working group of Sustain Northern Rivers , which commissioned the Institute for Sustainable Futures to undertake a NSW North Coast Bio-Energy Scoping Study. The Study is available to the public and you can find it on the RDA NR website here.
A Social Licence for Bioenergy?
The work of the Consortium has included research into the prospects for a social license for bioenergy in the Northern Rivers, building on work done by Sustain Energy, North Coast Energy Forum and others.
The Investigation Process So Far....
What We Found Out...