Newstead: Behind the Meter is a project of the Renewable Newstead Initiative, being undertaken by Newstead 2021 Inc. in central Victoria.

Newstead 2021 has received funding from the Victorian Government (Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources) for Newstead: Behind the Meter.

Newstead 2021 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 are actively and collaboratively working towards this goal. It acts on behalf of a number of community groups to ensure their ideas form an integrated whole.

Renewable Newstead commenced in June 2010 as a partnership between the Newstead community and the Central Victorian Solar City (CVSC) project.

Renewable Newstead is working to develop and implement a model for supplying Newstead with 100% renewable energy, embedded within a community-scale electricity network. The model will incorporate community ownership and balance the need to ensure social equity, via low prices and price protections for Newstead residents who are vulnerable to rising energy costs, and commercial viability. Newstead: Behind the Meter is an important part of working towards this long term goal.

The project will take the form of “action-research”, with a focus on implementing a solution for Newstead, and documenting the process for potential for replication across Victoria. Partnerships between the community, Government, energy suppliers and solution providers will be critical to the project’s success.

The project involves developing a master plan which incorporates the following elements to transition Newstead to 100% renewable energy (Purpose):

  • an assessment of technical and commercial constraints to Powercor participation (as the electricity distributor for Newstead) in carrying out the Purpose;
  • in-principle commitment from Powercor to engage as a partner in carrying out the Purpose;
  • developing a detailed (scoped and defined) proposal for carrying out the Purpose, including preparing a detailed community engagement plan signed-off by key relevant stakeholders; and
  • developing a detailed business case and commercial model for carrying out the Purpose.