The Green Teams’ solar dream: New energy in the school

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An hour around The People’s Solar and ‘green teams’ from two schools in Geelong.

Guests in the studio:
Alex Houlston, Energy for the People
Aaron Lewtas, Surf Coast Energy Group
Alex Aidt, 9 years, member of the Green Team at South Geelong Primary School
Jack Nyhof, 14 years, member of the Green Team at Geelong High School and founder of Earth People Animals

Pre-recorded interviews:
• Ms Leanne Dowling, principal, South Geelong Primary School
• Professor Peter Høj, vice-chancellor, University of Queensland

Video-clip:
Frackman trailer



Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 66:

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Excerpts from the hour


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Aaron Lewtas:

Looking for a Surf Coast solar host site

SCEG logo-w-shadowSurf Coast Energy Group is looking for a suitable site for starting a crowdfunded solar project similar to the one at South Geelong Primary School.

» If you would like to suggest a site, contact SCEG

Community Solar Forum

Sunday 26 April 2015 at Torquay Senior Citizens Hall, 1.00pm to 4.00pm

» For more info, contact SCEG


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Ms Leanne Dowling:

Crowdfunding for solar to South Geelong Primary School

» Rightclick here to download the mp3-file

» You can support the project with a donation here: www.thepeoplessolar.com/sgps



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Professor Peter Høj:

Queensland’s largest solar plant opens

» Rightclick here to download the mp3-file

Queensland’s largest solar installation opens

On Friday 27 March 2015, a 3.3 GigaWatt solar photovoltaic research facility opened at University of Queensland

The University of Queensland and First Solar have completed construction of a 3,275 MegaWatt solar photovoltaic research facility at University of Queensland’s Gatton campus. It is the southern hemisphere’s largest solar photovoltaic research facility, and Queensland’s largest solar installation.

In comparison, Australia total installed wind power capacity at end 2014 was 3,806 MegaWatt. Turning on that switch at University of Queensland added almost as much renewable energy to Australia as the entire wind industry.

Again, to put that Australian wind figure in a international perspective, in just the 12 months of 2014, China opened 23,196 MW of new wind installations.

UQ-launch
“It’s an honour to be the one to throw the switch on such a significant solar project,” said Minister Ian Macfarlane. From left on the photo: University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Høj, First Solar Asia-Pacific Regional Manager Jack Curtis, Federal Science and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane and UQ Solar director Professor Paul Meredith. (Photo by University of Queensland.) Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Cr Paul Antonio also attended the opening of the solar facility at University of Queensland.



A landmark
UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said the Gatton installation was one of the most advanced research facilities of its kind in the world, and its commissioning was a landmark in UQ’s clean energy journey.

“This infrastructure brings UQ’s total solar generation capacity to more than five megawatts. UQ made a significant step into solar power generation and research four years ago when it installed a 1.22 megawatt solar system across four rooftops at St Lucia. That remains Australia’s largest rooftop system.”

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Professor Paul Meredith

University of Queensland’s Solar Director Professor Paul Meredith said the facility would be a game-changer in renewables research.

“This research is about improving the way that we integrate solar into our state’s overall energy mix. It also works towards establishing and proving the business model for solar generation in Australia at the megawatt scale.”

“Queensland gets about 2,700 hours of sunlight a year. This site turns that into energy, and into knowledge about how to better service local, national and international energy needs through effective solar technologies,” Professor Meredith said.

The UQ Solar initiative, managed by UQ’s Global Change Institute, seeks to better understand the cost efficiencies of solar technologies to improve the integration of solar energy into the electricity grid, paving the way for future large scale solar systems to be connected.

For the first time in Australia, multiple PV mounting technologies including fixed-tilt, single-axis and dual-axis tracker technologies will be in operation side-by-side in the same field to inform electrical and economic performance.

Professor Meredith said the Gatton facility was an exemplar of how clean energy could integrate with agriculture and was a test bed for off-grid applications such as remote communities or mining settlements.

“This project features state-of-the-art, thin-film panels, configured in tracking and non-tracking geometries. It is a world-first and will position The University of Queensland at the forefront of renewable energy research globally,” he said.

The plant will also include battery storage to improve understanding of the value of short- and medium-term energy storage, its impact on the quality of power supply and any resulting economic benefits.

» Read more on www.uq.edu.au


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Alex Houlston:

The People’s Solar

» www.thepeoplessolar.com


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More information

About the the topics we talked about in this Sustainable Hour


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Local solar power station “a breakthrough for renewables”

On Friday 27 March 2015, Minister for Energy and Resources, Lily D’Ambrosio, joined Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, Adem Somyurek, to open a world-leading solar power station in central Victoria that could see exports of cutting-edge solar components skyrocket: The RayGen Resources solar power station in Newbridge
Media release from Premier of Victoria The Hon. Daniel Andrews MP

» Read more on www.premier.vic.gov.au



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Frackman The Movie trailer – posted on youtube.com on 12 February 2015.

Geelong event on 13 April 2015:

‘Frackman’ is coming to Geelong

Crowdfunding to get ‘Frackman’ – a movie about onshore gas mining in Australia – up on a big cinema screen in Geelong on Monday 13 April 2015. The Sustainable Hour received the following letter about the initiative from Frack Free Moriac:

“I’m so excited to be emailing you all about the screening of FRACKMAN in Geelong. If you haven’t heard, its the biggest movie being talked about right now. Its main man ‘the Frackman’ has been speaking about his 5 year struggle with CSG companies on shows such as Sunrise, Lateline, The Project, and Alan Jones radio. It about his experience living in Tara, QLD and his stance against unconventional gas.

Village Cinemas will screen the movie FRACKMAN on Monday April 13th at 6.30pm.
Web link: www.tugg.com/events/15198

We need people to pre purchase their seat by April 5th as we need 54 sales before the movie will go ahead (don’t worry you wont be charged if we don’t reach our threshold of 54 presales). Once we reach 54 pre sales, the tickets will be on sale till the event. We don’t have a lot of time to advertise this event, so we would love you to pass on this email to family and friends, or even share via social media. www.facebook.com/FrackFreeMoriac

Click on the first web link above and it will take you straight to the page to reserve your seat. Tickets are $20 (some proceeds going to Lock the Gate groups), and you’ll need credit card details ready.

I have actually seen this film and I really think its a film not to be missed! It’s real, its confronting and most of all, Australian.

Please book now, as most shows around the country are selling out, you don’t want to miss out (NO TICKETS AT THE DOOR).

Thanks so much, we look forward to seeing you there!

Alison
Frack Free Moriac”



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Geelong event on 15 April 2015:

Wild film in Eastern Gardens of Geelong

The City of Greater Geelong invites families, teachers, carers and the general community to a screening of ‘Project Wild Thing’.

Filmmaker David Bond is a worried man. His kids’ waking hours are dominated by a cacophony of marketing, and a screen dependence threatening to turn them into glassy-eyed zombies. Like city kids everywhere, they spend way too much time indoors – not like it was back in his day. He decides its time to get back to nature – literally

‘Project Wild Thing’ is a film-led movement to get more kids (and their folks!) outside and reconnecting with nature. The film is an ambitious, feature-length documentary that takes a funny and revealing look at a complex issue, the increasingly disparate connection between children and nature, coined ‘nature deficit disorder’ by psychologists.

“This film will change your life”
Patrick Barkham, The Guardian

When: Wednesday 15th April 2015 be there for a 6.00pm start
Where: Eastern Gardens Geelong
Cost: Free

BYO a picnic dinner, chairs, blankets etc.
Alcohol Free Event

*Event will be cancelled in the event of inclement weather

» You can book into a session via the form on www.geelongaustralia.com.au



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26 American coal companies gone bankrupt

At least 26 coal companies in the United States have gone bankrupt during the past three years, reported the research group Carbon Tracker Initiative.

The reason: declining demand due to increased investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency, stricter environmental requirements, several lawsuits against companies that operate coal mines, and declining coal prices, because coal is replaced by shale gas in power plants.

According to Macquarie Research, coal prices continue to decline in the United States and are accompanied by “a wave of bankruptcies”. The world’s largest private coal producer, Peabody Energy, has lost over 80 per cent of its share value over three years and must now pay high interest rates for loans to refinance its debt.

The recommendation to investors from the financial adviser The Street Ratings about the Peabody-shares sounds like this: ‘Sell!’.

» Read or download the report on www.carbontracker.org (PDF document, 3MB)


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Barwon Heads Heritage Centre
Barwon Heads Heritage Centre

City to Surf Solar+ wrote:

Geelong community and schools solar power

Free community Solar
“City to Surf Solar+ have been involved with numerous school and community groups over the last five years and have realised the importance of people having an involvement in their local community. We endeavour to give back to those communities that have supported us in the best way that we can have an impact, and that is by providing them with free clean power to alleviate ongoing costs to non-profit organisations.

We offer a free community solar program for any school, community group, club or association that works towards improving the quality of life for the community.

With a Bulk Buy or Solar Neighbourhood, all you need is a group of people interested in solar power. We hold free seminars to help people understand renewable energy, government rebates and the issues with quality and safety in our industry. We also perform free home assessments for anyone involved.

How it works

  1. We advertise and market the City to Surf Solar+ community bulk buy for your School, Club or Community Centre;
  2. We schedule a seminar for everyone who has shown interest in the bulk buy to teach them the reality of Solar Power, what to expect and what to avoid;
  3. We go to each individual home and do a free home assessment to find the best system suitable for their requirements and budget;
  4. Once the systems have been installed we will install a system at 10% of the total of all systems installed at your School, Club or Community Centre. For example, if the bulk buy totals 50kW worth of systems, the group is entitled to a free 5kW system. Instead of the solar system installed at the community centre we can auction it off at a function to raise money for your organisation or for your favourite charity.


What are you required to do?

  • We would require your organisation to supply a room for the Seminar;
  • Spread the word of free electricity and saving the planet;
  • Nothing else, just let City to Surf Solar+ handle the rest.

We provide residential solar and commercial solar in Geelong and surrounding areas.

Community and schools projects

See our latest solar projects in the community and schools around the Geelong region. Helping make our region cleaner and greener now and for future generations.

» Read more about Community and Schools Projects


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