Welcome to the website of the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust (BRCT).
We are proud to have Jeanette Fitzsimons, CNZM as our patron.
We work on creating local climate solutions together. Our company, Blueskin Energy Limited, works to establish local renewable generation embedded in the local grid. We want to make what is commonplace in other countries possible in New Zealand and help achieve 100% renewable electricity generation. Our Climate Safe House project is a response to sea-level rise in Blueskin Bay. We want to help find solutions for coastal New Zealand. BRCT is an IRD approved charitable trust formed in 2008 out of the need to support local sustainability and climate change initiatives in a planned and structured way. We offer practical services, provide key support, have robust resources, lead innovative projects and provide expert advocacy. Check out our 2017 projects below and our 2016 success stories at the bottom of this page.
• We offer bulk sales of logs to be processed for firewood
• This is a lower-cost option for communities, charities, social organisations, etc.
• We offer discounted quality insulation for residents prepared to do the installation themselves.
• This is a low-cost option for DIYers, landlords and social organisations, etc.
Cosy Home Assessments
• We are maintaining a Dunedin wide service delivering independent expert assessments, appraisals and reports on their home performance to Dunedin residents.
• We work with the Cosy Homes Trust other social agencies to help support residents make their homes warm and cosy.
Healthy Rental Certification
• We help landlords ensure compliance with the new requirements under the Residential Tenancies Act.
• We give landlords and tenants the information they need to fix any issues and information on available subsidies.
• We are a drop in centre for advice and support.
• We work with individuals to catalyse community actions.
• We provide community newsletters and articles each month.
• We maintain a Local Food Directory to support local food initiatives.
• We help to coordinate actions and develop collaboration to join up skills and build cooperate effort.
Current Project News in 2017 - November/December
Our new Labour/Greens/NZ First government has stated that it aims for 100% renewable electricity generation by 2035 and a carbon neutral economy by 2050. We are excited by this ambition and we support it 100%. We also aim to do our utmost to bring it into being. With the new government ambition there are going to be many more wind turbines in our landscape. This is because there are longer any big rivers to dam. Solar works well enough at the household level and can complement other renewables like community or regional scale wind to provide a diversified, distributed and more resilient system, but can’t do it alone. We need so much more generation, and we need to use what we have much more efficiently. To that end, our Smart Grid development should help and we’re now exploring what other options there are for a local wind turbine or wind farm. Meanwhile the new direction on energy set by the new government intentions will make it easier for progressive communities to install community wind turbines and we’re happy to lend a hand there too.
The decision a couple of months ago from the Environment Court judge to deny consent to construct a single wind turbine on Porteous Hill, because of what she judged as adverse impact on amenity for the community has surprised not only us. The impact from this curious decision is reverberating around New Zealand. With a looming climate crisis, rising emissions and a rising demand for electricity, can we afford to deny the growth in renewable generation because we don’t like the way a wind turbine looks?
Barriers to developing community wind need to be removed if we are to be successful in not only meeting the government’s target of 100% renewable electricity generation, but also to ensure community benefits from renewable generation can be realized. A local wind turbine can help us on the path to semi-independence in terms of energy. If we can still develop it, a local community turbine will allow those of us within the Waitati substation area to use our own electricity when it's available and only rely on the National grid when it's not. If the main grid has problems, the local-grid can hum along in "island mode" and keep things running. We’ll keep at it! We also will help others and share our experience.
Updates are on twitter @BlueskinPower and on Facebook (Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust). You are also welcome to call 03 4822048 or call in to visit and find out more about any of our work.
This has been a very full year for the Trust and we’re looking forward to some down time over summer too. While 2017 was notable for some pretty unpleasant behaviour in our community, it also brought with it a new government with a commitment to act on climate change, poverty and regional development, and more support for the Trust’s initiatives.
Our Smart Grid development work is really exciting. We are in the midst of getting all the formal arrangements in place, and it is a true collaborative effort that we expect to deliver a very participatory local electricity market for those who choose to sign up.
As we close down for the holidays a great big thanks is due to the Trust Board for great support, governance and resilience this past year, to our legal team who have been so generous and compassionate, and to all our volunteers and supporters without whom nothing could be achieved. It is not always easy to collaborate on local climate solutions but we must do all we can, as much as we can. If you want to make a donation to assist our work follow the link or email BRCT at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Donate using internet banking via the website. Donations are tax deductible so please make sure we have your name and address and can thank you!
Our Successes in 2016
If you are interested in helping out, making a donation or sponsoring some part of the project, please be in touch via the Trust office. Tel: 03 4822048 / email: email@example.com
We have many people and businesses to thank for supporting BRCT so far (see our supporters page).