Can a micro-grid provide reliable power for
The Rural City of Wangaratta together with Countrywide
Renewable Energy submitted a proposal to fund the
preparation of a business case for a micro-grid for
Milawa. It has been advised that the application has been
This application was submitted to the Victorian
Government under the New Energy Jobs Fund which
provided some funding to the Council to progress the
Wangaratta Solar Farm at North Wangaratta.
As a micro-grid is a new concept to most, here are some
questions and answer that we hope will aid Milawa
What is a micro-grid?
By establishing a micro-grid, a community is generating
the energy it needs within its own community to meet its
needs day and night. For Milawa it will mean establishing
new power generation which may be a new solar farm,
energy storage and sharing excess energy already
generated on the rooftops of homes and businesses.
If a micro-grid is established, will Milawa be
disconnected from the national grid?
No, Milawa will continue to be connected to the grid
adding security to power supply.
What is the business case designed to
The Business Case will consider power consumption in
Milawa, both commercial and residential, power
generation on rooftops, projected increases in energy
demands, energy pricing, options for power generation
from renewable sources, energy storage, and hydrogen
production to replace LPG used by businesses, the extent
of the micro-grid’s footprint and other relevant matters
that surface during its preparation.
Who is involved in the micro-grid project?
Six external parties will be working with the Council to
deliver the Business Case, namely:
Countrywide Renewable Energy – developers of
the Wangaratta Solar Farm and proponents of a
micro-grid for Milawa
Deakin University – energy modelling
CSIRO – energy storage options and hydrogen
ITM-Power – a UK company with hydrogen
AusNet Services – the local electricity
Energy Umpire – pricing of electricity to
How long will it take to prepare the Business
The Council has a deadline of May 2019 for the delivery
of the business case to the Department of Environment,
Land, Water and Planning.
How will the community be kept informed?
A public meeting will be held in Milawa on Thursday 20th
September 2018 at 6pm Milawa Hall to present the
opportunity and to answer questions. This will ensure we
engage with as many residents as possible. Work will
start immediately on a project website that will be
updated as the business case preparation progresses. The
website will be maintained by Countrywide Renewable
Energy and will provide an opportunity for interested
parties to interact with the project and pose questions or
offer suggestions. The local media will be encouraged to
communicate the status of the project as new
information becomes available.
Who is Countrywide Renewable Energy?
The company evolved from Countrywide Energy, the developers of the North Wangaratta Solar Farm. Its founder, Geoff
Drucker has a long association with the local area having lived in Wangaratta earlier in his career when he was a teacher at
the TAFE College. He left that role to take a position with the former State Electricity Commission of Victoria where he was
responsible for evaluating the viability of renewable energy options for the state.