The story so far…
In 2010 Newstead was approached by Central Victorian Solar City with a challenge. Could Newstead be Australia’s first 100% renewable energy town?
From there Renewable Newstead began its journey to explore the possibilities of local renewable energy generation and to engage the community in conversations about energy.
Renewable Newstead aims to bring multiple benefits to our community including a cleaner local environment, education and employment opportunities, and a buffer against future energy shocks. We are looking for energy solutions that are viable, cost effective and strengthen our community, and we want to have fun along the way with community celebrations of our achievements.
We share a common belief that for Renewable Newstead to accomplish its audacious goals its activities must be open and inclusive and contribute to the overall social capital of Newstead and district – this means that while the project has a focus on renewable energy it ultimately aims to bring social, economic and environmental benefits to our whole community.
To better understand our local energy usage, 80% of our community participated in Home and Business Energy Assessments, and dozens took part in a survey. To explore Newstead’s renewable energy potential, in 2011 we commissioned the Newstead Energy Feasibility Study by Crockford McCartney.
We also started talking to energy distributors and retailers to appreciate the business of energy, and how and where our energy is generated and distributed.
We continue to seek out conversations with local, state and federal governments in order to share with them our vision and to garner their support.
We are constantly inspired and informed by many local, national and international leaders in the renewable and prosumer (producer-consumer) energy movements and we advocate for grassroots community energy solutions and innovation.
Renewable Newstead operates under the auspices of not-for-profit community organisation Newstead 2021 Inc.