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Byron Shire
April 14, 2021

Tweed village looks at renewable future

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Tosh Szatow and Alex Houlston from Energy for the People talked about 'crowd funding' as a source of potential funding for renewable energy initiatives, including the Tyalgum off-grid plan.
Tosh Szatow and Alex Houlston from Energy for the People talked about ‘crowd funding’ as a source of potential funding for renewable energy initiatives, including the Tyalgum off-grid plan.

A bold plan to make the Tweed village of Tyalgum one of the first north communities to come off the grid and run on renewable energy is moving a step closer.

A renewable-energy information evening two weeks ago in Murwillumbah heard how such a project could be funded through not just government grants but online crowd funding.

Around 70 people tuned in to the Crowd Funding for Community Renewable Energy Projects information evening, 30 of those in person while around 40 participated online via a webcast.

Expert speakers shared their knowledge with the aim of connecting renewable energy projects around the state.

Tweed Shire Council, Sustain Northern Rivers and the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) worked with the Tyalgum Energy Project to host the event.

Energy market specialist and consumer advocate Craig Memery, from the Alternative Technology Association, highlighted energy-system fundamentals, while Tosh Szatow and Alex Houlston from Energy for the People reflected on the changing economics of renewable energy and provided information about ‘crowd funding’ as a source of potential funding for renewable energy initiatives.

Council’s program leader in sustainability, Debbie Firestone, said it was exciting to bring local community members together and use online technology to share information.

‘Craig, Alex and Tosh were in the region to prepare a feasibility assessment to take the Tweed village of Tyalgum off the grid, funded through a Growing Community Energy Program grant from the OEH,’ Ms Firestone said.

‘Eight of the 19 grants received across NSW are based in the Northern Rivers.

‘Council is assessing options to meet its operational energy needs through renewable energy, so we are very interested in the energy system, economic and funding considerations as part of that project,’ she said.

‘Sharing the experiences of experts who are assisting the Tyalgum Energy Project makes sense and helps us all find effective and efficient ways to make renewable energy projects successful.’

To view the webcast of the event, register at www.webcasts.com.au/oeh200515/

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