July 2013 News

2013 07 04 12.39.17 Nick WilliamsonOn the 4th July Solarcity ran a solar instalation workshop here in Waitati (see inset photo- Nick Williamson is the one crouching on the floor). Solar installations continue in Blueskin, with another 4 independent installations that we know of now underway (3 in one street), and Solarcity, mid July have had 5 “BS1” enquiries (if you make an enquiry with that code, you receive the Blueskin deal), completed 4 site visits and provided 2 solid quotes, with installations to follow. Little by little, Blueskin rooves are becoming mini power-stations and giving their owners a capital return as well as reducing their energy demand. Community wind and household solar will provide a great renewable cocktail mix. 

Meanwhile in our own wind energy news, we’re approaching six months of wind data collection from the 30 metre tower (over 2 years from the 10 metre tower) on Porteous Hill and we know the wind is good with robust analysis now possible. It may be that the testing towers will be in demand elsewhere soon, but no decision yet.

However, this month the big news is the development of the Dunedin Energy Plan. While work on the Energy Plan was approved by the DCC last year, in the past two months there’s been such action and intensity on developing an Energy Plan owned by residents that we can see the DCC really means business. The Dunedin Energy Plan will provide a road-map for the next ten years and aims to set out how we will as a city:

  • Save costs and enhance quality of life resulting from energy efficiency improvements
  • Boost the city’s energy security and ability to adapt to change
  • Reduce Dunedin’s climate change and environmental effects
  • Take advantage of economic opportunities in a changing energy context.

With all the various energy initiatives BRCT is involved with now (Blueskin wind, solar, community energy advice, climate change), previously (insulation retrofits) and potentially in the future (all of the above as well as low carbon transport, earth batteries, food sovereignty), BRCT has invested in a substantial contribution to the Dunedin Energy Plan discussion. There is a real opportunity in this Energy Plan to ensure the city embarks on ensuring good stewardship of our resources while providing for the transition to clean technologies to provide energy security and affordability, rather than a careless, haphazard approach that will leave future generations with little to thank us for.

Some of the actions BRCT would like to see detailed in the Energy Plan are: a local power procurement policy to ensure the city can by supplied with at least 20% of its current electricity demand from within city limits; a targeting rate to boost micro-generation installations; building a shared “Cosy Homes” vision and financial mechanisms to counter fuel poverty; support for community initiatives; ‘championing’ low carbon transport; and employment at the Council of an ‘Eco-Design Advisor’ to assist builders and homeowners make sustainable living choices.

Visit us at the office at 1121 Mt Cargill Rd, Waitati. Telephone enquiries can be made on 4822048 (the Wind Cluster) and for any information about the solar project email solar@blueskinpower.co.nz.

By Scott Willis