An exciting new project to improve the reliability of Avenel’s energy supplies and reduce emissions has won the backing of The Nationals’ candidate for Nicholls Sam Birrell and Deputy Leader of The Victorian Nationals Steph Ryan.
The pair were recently in Avenel where they met with members of local action group Avenel Active to inspect the community’s new heat refuge and to be briefed on Project EDGE.
As part of Project EDGE, Avenel homeowners and businesses will be invited to submit expressions of interest to participate in a distributed energy marketplace trial – the first of its kind.
The trial is being supported by the Federal Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
“I was impressed by the progress Avenel Active has made on this project and I look forward to working with them to help make this project a reality if I am elected to Parliament,” Mr Birrell said.
“The first stage of this project will enable individual households to reduce their reliance on the grid by subsidising the installation of rooftop solar, batteries and a smart energy monitoring and management system that can help release energy to meet local demand.”
Ms Ryan said the recent addition of a solar and battery powered heat refuge to the Avenel Memorial Hall would be a vital asset to the town in the event of another lengthy power outage.
“Ultimately, we want to avoid these long power outages which is causing businesses to lose thousands of dollars and putting the health of the community, particularly older residents, at risk,” Ms Ryan said.
“In the meantime, however, the community’s efforts to provide standalone power generation on the hall means people now have somewhere they can stay cool on very hot days if the power goes out.”
A community meeting facilitated by Avenel Active to seek expressions of interest from home owners and businesses will be held tonight.