Kangaroo Island is set to join five other South Australian councils to form a regional community energy program designed to drive down power prices.
Kangaroo Island Council, District Council of Yankalilla, City of Victor Harbor, Alexandrina Council, Adelaide Hills Council and Mount Barker District Council are now in the process of developing a business case.
Residents are encouraged to air their views on regional energy via an online survey which closes Sunday, June 17.
Regional community energy program creating energy options
The Hills & Coasts region of South Australia spends around $300 million on electricity every year, according to the City of Victor Harbor.
Local businesses also blame rising energy costs for putting a brake on growth.
Community energy is therefore seen as a great way to tackle climate change, reduce electricity prices and provide clean, reliable power. It can also boost the local economy.
Because councils in the planned program have different resources available, energy production across the region will reflect this.
Biomass, wind, also part of energy mix
Kangaroo Island Council is launching a feasibility study for its Island Energy biomass project. This would then burn plantation timber woodchips on the island to create power.
The Fleurieu Peninsula is more likely to combine rooftop solar panel systems with solar energy storage. Wind turbines are also a possibility.
Home batteries like Tesla Powerwall give households the flexibility of producing daytime solar power then storing it. This is then available during evening peak power times and overnight.
Benefits of community energy projects
The planned program will offer a range of benefits for local residents and businesses. The scheme can:
- Reduce power bills and cost of living pressures.
- Leverage the region’s collective buying power.
- Ease the transition to a clean energy future.
- Keep money within the region and generate jobs.
- Encourage sustainable development and investment.
- Promote local innovation and collaboration.
- Insure against blackouts through stored solar energy.
If you want to know more about council and community solar programs in your area, visit our Solar Bulk Buy and Community Solar Directory.