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Byron Shire
February 6, 2023

$4.5m in renewable energy grants

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L to R: Dr Greg Wildling and Craig Johnston, directors of Coolamon Energy, Ballina (Green) MP Tamara Smith, Enova CEO Felicity Stening and Enova Community Energy Chair, Alison Crook. Photo Aslan Shand.

Two renewable energy projects have received funding as part of the NSW government Regional Community Energy Fund (RCEF) totalling close to $4.5m.

Coolamon Energy was awarded $3.5m for the Byron Bay Solar Farm and Storage Facility project. This consists of a 5MW solar farm and battery storage facility that will be set up in Byron Shire by Byron Bay Solar Fam Holdings.

‘The Byron Bay Solar Fam is a new 7.4MW DC/ 4.99MW AC photovoltaic (PV) solar farm with a 5MW/ 10MWh lithium-ion battery storage facility,’ said project spokesperson Craig Johnston.

‘The design is innovative as it specifies a central inverter with DC coupled storage – we believe this is a first for an Australian regional community energy project.’

Congratulating Coolamon Energy Tamara Smith, member for Ballina said, ‘moving as quickly as possible to beyond zero emissions and away from the fossil fuel industry is the brief and our community is delivering.’

Mr Johnston says that in terms of delivering back to the community ‘we hope to be able to work with Enova Energy to be able to offer Byron Bay residents locally generated renewable energy from the sun from 2021 onwards’.

ENOVA’s community battery

Enova Community Energy in conjunction with the University of Newcastle and Enosi Energy has also received close to $1m in funding for the installation of a 2MHh battery in a regional NSW location yet to be determined. This aims to implement peer-to-peer trading (provided by partner Enosi) of the stored energy across 500 Enova customers, and aims to reduce electricity bills for Enova customers.

‘Community batteries are one of the last pieces in the puzzle to bring efficient control of energy generation, storage, and supply right back to where they belong: in the hands of people in their own communities,’ Enova Community Energy Chair, Alison Crook said.

Enova CEO Felicity Stening welcomed this opportunity for Enova, ‘It will enable Enova to make its debut into grid-scale energy storage and bring peer-to-peer energy trading to our customers. Enova is absolutely stepping into its role as a leader in helping communities build energy self-sufficiency.’

NSW Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean said the Shared Community Battery Project would help regional communities take control of their energy bills and benefit from the economic opportunities presented by changes in the energy system.

‘These innovative renewable energy projects will help to make electricity more reliable and affordable for our regional communities,’ Mr Kean said.

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  1. That’s nice!

    Remember ‘Phlux’ with reference to large scale solar installations. Magnetic incineration of flying wildlife through acres of solar panels. We need to ensure they have somewhere to ‘leave’ once they are in it by creating space between arrays or groupings the create independent sections or bodies of energies rather than one immense group. Reference ‘Phlux’.. solar farm US for more info.

    We can do it! We can get it right!

    Congratulations Tamara! Nice work! Thank you.

  2. With reference to ‘Phlux’.. it is a great example of the positive contribution of roof /house style independent solar array.

  3. Really disappointed that an Australian Vanadium Flow battery was not considered. They have a life of more than three times Lithium. Developed and made in Australia with Australian workers and mined Vanadium.

  4. A fantasic initiative from Enova. One of many more to come hopefully. Decentralisation of the power grid is the ONLY way to go for future energy needs and security.


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