Totally Renewable Yackandandah (TRY) through the Virtual Power Plant project have set the goal to enable Yackandandah to operate off 100% renewable energy by 2022.
TRY engaged 10 community groups to install solar panels and smart controllers on 10 public buildings, 3 with batteries. It was a substantial undertaking to partner with mainly volunteer run organisations and accommodate their schedule of works and differing organisational ambitions.
The Virtual Power Plant project saw the installation of 74kW of solar across a 14km radius network of publicly owned buildings to generate, store and share electricity to build a robust, localised, low-carbon and resilient electricity supply. The plant generates an extra 104MWh of clean energy, reducing carbon emissions by an estimated 88t CO2e per year, the equivalent of removing more than 17 cars off the road annually. A core consideration was to ensure key assets across the area would provide electricity during outages and emergencies.
The project normalised clean energy for the community, with engaging displays at each of the installations explaining the project to people and demonstrating how energy efficiency and local generation can become part of their daily lives.