Welcome to the website of the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust (BRCT).
We work on creating local climate solutions together. Our company, Blueskin Energy Limited, is working on establishing our proposed Blueskin Turbine embedded in the local grid. We want to make what is commonplace in other countries possible in New Zealand. Our ClimateSafeHouse project is a response to sea-level rise in Blueskin Bay and the wider area. 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 2016 projects below and our 2015 success stories at the bottom of this page.
• We provide a free phone/email advice service open to the wider Dunedin community regarding home heating, insulation, energy efficient lighting, etc.
• Our advice is independent, and not influenced by selling products.
• 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.
Home Performance Assessments
• We maintain a Dunedin wide service delivering independent expert assessments, appraisals and reports on their home performance to Dunedin residents.
• We work with 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 2016 - November/December
Our Blueskin Turbine
The recent 7.5 magnitude earthquake near Hamner Springs tragically caused fatalities, though fortunately remarkably few for the scale of the shake. It severely damaged infrastructure and cut whole areas off. It was yet another timely reminder of why we must prepare for the unexpected as well as the expected.
With local renewable generation, we can make our local electricity supply more resilient, but it’s only a start. Changes to the local grid will also help so that locally produced electricity like Solar PV can be more easily shared around our grid and make it more secure. Add some storage capacity into the system and then we are likely to be even better off if we’re hit by an emergency.
Our proposed Blueskin turbine was first mooted 10 years ago and, with community support, the project has been extensively evaluated by professional experts. Over one year the total amount of electricity produced by our turbine will match the amount of electricity currently consumed in the Blueskin area over a year. But of course there will be down times when there is no wind. If we can then develop other ways to produce power locally and store it then we really will have a resilent supply. All developments take time and money and that’s why the turbine is so important – the money it generates for the community unlocks numerous possibilities.The location of our Blueskin turbine on an existing farm in the rural zone, where there’s good wind and the grid in close proximity is a good solution for all we believe. We have now commissioned expert analyses to be prepared for an Environment Court hearing in the New Year. We aim to create greater resilience in our local network to increase energy security and assist the development of further local climate solutions. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter : we like social media! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 4822048 - we love to hear from you.
Recently we were part of the Cosy Homes stand at the Great Kiwi Home and Living Show. As a result, our Cosy Energy Advice service has been in greater demand and insulation enquiries have increased as well. So with the coming of warmer weather its a good time to get things sorted before autumn reminds us of what we meant to do over summer to ensure we had a cosy home. There are four critical elements:
- Reduce heat loss (insulate, double glaze, seal up gaps etc)
- Control moisture (repair leaks, stop ‘rising damp’, etc)
- Ventilate (remove old air and replace with new)
- Heat (ensure you have the means to keep your home warm and cosy in harsh conditions).
Of course, providing energy services aren’t all we do at the Trust, although it does occupy most of our time. There’s also the Cuppa Tea team who meet once a month and prepare new publications on the Cuppa Tea blog. The lastest is a great piece called “Electric Vehicles 101” by Pam McKinley. It’s both an entertaining and informative read. The local food directory we host on our website is a simple way to list produce and supply.
If you want to make a donation to assist our work follow the link or email BRCT at email@example.com, 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 2015
The original proposal was for a small-scale energy development on Porteous Hill comprising three turbines on a 24ha title with access Porteous Road and the Kilmog. We asked for a 125 metre 'development envelope', i.e. that our turbines would fit within that height. Our calculation show that the development will generate over 7 Gigawatt hours per year - enough power to supply all of the Blueskin community’s annual electricity needs, and more.
This idea came from a community workshop in 2006 that led to the big vision of the Blueskin area becoming a truly sustainable, resilient community. Our aim is to generate income that can be directed into the things that matter to us while producing clean local electricity. See latest news for updates.
We have many people and businesses to thank for supporting BRCT so far (see our supporters page).