Healesville Net Zero Town Project – 2018’
The ambition of Healesville CoRE is to transition our town to net zero emissions and create greater energy independence for Healesville. The broader objective is for the community to feel empowered to have more control and ownership over the production, distribution and storage of the town’s renewable energy
What was the Healesville Net Zero Town Project & Why Was it Created?
In 2017, Healesville CoRE partnered with Monash University’s Net Zero Initiative and the Yarra Ranges Council to apply for a New Energy Jobs Fund Grant from the Victorian Government, to create a feasibility study and transition plan for Healesville to become a Net Zero Town. Although our team was shortlisted and went to interview for the grant, our application was ultimately not successful.
Nevertheless, Monash University offered to create a ‘pro bono’ project for Healesville CoRE, with two students to undertake an Options Study, supervised by Dr Roger Dargaville (Senior Lecturer in Monash’s Department of Civil Engineering) and Dr Yasmina Dkhissi, the Monash University Net Zero Strategy Manager.
Luke Barry and Nick Seymour, both Monash University Environmental Engineering students, were selected to do the research and provide a report. Their work commenced in March 2018 and was completed in June 2018, with a written report and a presentation on 21st June 2018, at the Healesville CoRE first anniversary community gathering at the Memo in Healesville: ‘Our Solar town: from dreams to reality”.
Why was Monash Motivated to Establish this Program?
According to Dr Yasmina Dkhissi, “Monash Uni through its Net Zero Initiative is committed to Climate Action, Leadership and Partnerships. Monash Uni is transforming its own infrastructure and assets to transition to net zero emissions by 2030 and building an innovative,100% renewable powered Microgrid on its Clayton campus.
Monash is committed to creating a positive impact beyond the campus boundaries and helping community organisations embarking on similar journeys.
Monash sees Healesville Net Zero town as the perfect opportunity to promote collaborative and innovative approaches to solving today’s great sustainability challenges. It allows Monash students to apply and further their skills and knowledge on an interdisciplinary ‘real-word’ challenge being driven by a local community group, supported to find practical solutions that will benefit the region and beyond. If this project could help enable collaborations with local industry partners, we strongly believe that this would constitute one great step towards achieving Healesville CoRE’s vision.”
Healesville CoRE was excited to work with such a professional team willing to support a group of community volunteers in achieving our big ambition of a Net Zero Town by 2027. The final report provided by Nick Seymour and Luke Barry provides us with a secure foundation and a direction for our project.