We are very pleased to be able to introduce this new community educational program, aimed at the general public for the communities of the Greater Yarra Valley and Ranges region. The course has been specifically designed by the Yarra Valley Community Power Hub, the Emerald Community House and Living & Learning Pakenham to create a deeper and broader understanding of Community Renewable Energy* (see Note below) for the general public.

The course will be at grassroots level, focussed on raising awareness and knowledge of the Community Renewable Energy movement, locally, nationally and internationally.

It will be offered through Community Centres and Neighbourhood Houses, with the first trial having been a success at Eltham, with Emerald and Pakenham starting in Term 4 2022, consisting of 8 hours online learning, with 2 hours extra self-directed learning, and a 5 hour Practicum (Field Day excursion) to Yarra Valley Water solar array at Wandin, subject to approval) and SolarQuip Energy Lab (Mt Toolebewong, near Healesville) plus one or two Sustainable Houses (probably Mt Toolebewong and Healesville) all within close proximity).

Pakenham Course:

Saturday mornings from 10.00am to 12.00noon on 8, 15, 22, 29 October.

Field Day on Sunday 13 November all day (students to meet in Healesville to catch a local bus to visit sites)

Emerald Course:

Wednesday evenings from 7.00-9.00pm on 5, 12,19, 26 October

Field Day on Sunday 13 November all day (students to meet in Healesville to catch a local bus to visit sites)

Each of the online sessions will be videoed during the teaching session to enable review.

The cost of the course will be $10 at each location and numbers will be limited to 20 students per course. A waiting list will be established at each location if courses are over subscribed.

Teachers:

We have four very well credentialled teachers engaged to teach the programs, with each course commencing with Glen Morris, followed by Dr Moragh MacKay, then Lucinda Flynn and Gerald Arends. Glen Morris will show students around his renewable energy lab and a sustainably constructed house at Mt Toolebewong and Simon Prunster will show students around the Yarra Valley Water solar site and their environmental rehabilitation site at Wandin.

Glen Morris: Has many years experience in the renewable energy field and runs a renewable energy lab at Mt Toolebewong testing a wide range of equipment. Glen runs training programs for solar panel and battery installers, is sought after as a consultant and advisor nationally and internationally and has run many workshops for Healesville CoRE for the general public on all things to do with renewable energy. His teaching session will cover the wide range of renewable energy options available to homes and businesses for solar panels, batteries, RC/AC, heat pumps etc. and how these systems can be integrated through micro grids, peer to peer sales, distributed energy networks, demand management and more, using smart technology.

Dr Moragh Mackay: Moragh is very experienced in the community energy field having started and chaired one such group over many years developing community engagement and community renewable energy infrastructure. She also works with community groups across Australia in collaborative governance. Moragh will focus in her teaching on the local, national and international development of community renewable energy, providing an overview of why such groups come into existence, what they can do to assist their local communities and to ameliorate the impact of the global climate emergency. Moragh will also provide information on how to become involved with a community energy group.

Lucinda Flynn: Lucinda works in the field of home energy efficiency and is a Scorecard Assessor. She ran the training program set up by the Yarra Valley Community Power Hub at Box Hill Institute, to train volunteers to work as community based home energy advisors. Lucinda will focus in her teaching on all aspects of creating an energy efficient home.

Gerald Arends: Gerald is a director of Komo Energy, the company that was the industry partner with the Yarra Valley Community Power Hub, engaged to provide technical and legal assistance to the Hub in triaging and developing feasibility studies and business cases for small to medium community energy projects. Gerald will focus on the ways in which community energy groups and industry can work together to achieve more effective outcomes than with groups working on their own and how this fits with the revolution in renewable energy now impacting the Australian and international energy sector.

What will you learn?

  • You will be introduced to the basics of ‘Community Renewable Energy’ in the context of Climate Change and the emerging renewable energy economy.
  • You will learn about the revolution that is occurring internationally, within Australia and in particular within Victoria, as local communities take control of meeting their renewable energy needs.
  • You will learn what this could mean for the ways in which communities can be involved in the production, storage and distribution of renewable energy, including community ownership of small to medium scale renewable energy infrastructure.
  • The course will illustrate how communities can benefit socially and financially from community renewable energy projects, from the household level through to small and medium scale projects.
  • You will learn how such projects can be leveraged to build community connections, community resourcefulness, community resilience and community employment opportunities, while tackling Climate Change.
  • Importantly, you will learn how renewable energy projects save money for individuals and for the community, so that money can be retained locally rather than being paid to large companies with overseas shareholders.
  • And you will learn how you can become involved with your local community.
  • Self Directed Learning will be integrated into the course with each teacher requiring you to commit to 30 minutes of self directed learning either before or after their teaching session.

Register your interest!

Register now