Renewable Newstead is a project to supply Newstead with 100 per cent renewable energy, i.e. energy that’s generated from non-fossil fuels. Renewable energy includes wind, sun, biomass (burning wood & waste), underground warmth (geothermal), hydro (moving water) and more.

Most likely we will use sun or solar to start with to generate and supply energy locally. The energy would travel via our existing poles and wires to Newstead houses, businesses and properties.

There are many phases to this project.

This current phase, called Behind the Meter, is working out how we can do this in a way that most benefits the Newstead community. We are creating a plan or model. That plan includes how to fund this for the long term – viably, sustainably, without government grants and so it generates other benefits for our community. The plan will also identify what, if anything, we’d need to install and where.

Our model will:

  • incorporate community ownership;
  • be optional for Newstead households & businesses to join;
  • balance social equity – via fair prices for Newstead residents, especially those vulnerable to rising energy costs – and commercial reality;
  • keep us grid-connected;
  • generate extra benefits for our community;
  • use power generated locally from renewable sources;
  • demonstrate the power of a community working together

Behind the Meter, in our case, is another way of saying our community would become a collective customer that relies on the energy it generates itself, via solar panels or other renewable sources, before selling the extra back into the grid.

Renewable Newstead is auspiced by Newstead 2021 Inc.

Newstead 2021 Inc was formed in 2008 to support the development of a vibrant, informed and sustainable community in our town and surrounds. The group comprises interested members of the local community who actively and collaboratively work towards this goal.

In 2015, Newstead 2021 Inc received $200,000 from the Victorian Government (Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources) to develop a viable, sustainable, long-term model for a small town to generate its own power using renewable sources. Thank you Victoria!

A detailed business case for a commercially viable model is now being developed. Input from households and businesses in and around Newstead is crucial for this stage. That input can be given via our survey or this website or in person or at street stalls and in clubs, groups and organisations. Click here to be alerted to the dates and times for the street stalls and club/group and organisiation on when those opportunities A series of street stalls and community groups in further