SURF CLUB ENERGY BOOST THROUGH INNOVATIVE TURBINE TENDER
CLEANaS tendered to Ausgrid on Friday 11 July 2014 to take possession of the Kooragang Island Wind Turbine, made possible through the collaboration of forward-thinking organisations.
A join-the-dots exercise brokered by the Clean Energy Association of Newcastle and Surrounds (CLEANaS) and AGL Energy (AGL), could see forward thinking and collaborative companies working together to give Hunter Surf Life Saving clubs an energy boost.
In an open tender process that has just closed, CLEANaS has brought together energy retailer AGL, Newcastle based wind farm developer CWP Renewables, world leading Wind Turbine manufacturer Vestas, and other forward thinking organisations to produce a tender bid that, while out of the ordinary, ticks many boxes for the Hunter.
If the tender is successful, the turbine could feasibly stay where it is for several years and continue to generate clean renewable energy. All of the energy would be purchased by AGL, which would then provide discounted energy to Hunter Surf Life Saving Clubs, to help them lower their operating costs.
If successful, the not for profit association, CLEANaS, would set up an entity to take ownership of the turbine, and would manage the arrangements on a voluntary basis.
Hunter Surf Lifesaving CEO Rhonda Scruton is delighted that the clubs would benefit if this plan comes to fruition.
“Hunter Surf Lifesaving’s thirteen clubs and 7,500 members appreciate the opportunity to save hard earned raised funds on electricity charges, to invest in essential Rescue Equipment, Training and infrastructure for members.
This assistance is most appreciated for the quiet achievers in the region. Last season local lifesavers rescued 317 people, performed 17,393 Preventative Actions and 636 First Aid cases. They volunteered 72,072 hours patrolling the beaches keeping our record of “No Lives Lost Between the Flags” for the past 106 years intact.”
CLEANaS co-founder Dr Richard Finlay-Jones is hopeful that Ausgrid will look favourably upon the bid.
“We have to respect that this is a formal tender process, and Ausgrid will have assessment criteria to work with. We think that our bid is strong as it achieves the ownership transfer that Ausgrid is seeking, whilst hopefully allowing the turbine to stay where it is and keep providing renewable energy for the surf clubs. It’s a win all around” he said.
AGL General Manager, Marketing and Retail Sales, Mark Brownfield said AGL was pleased to be supporting this tender and to be partnering with CLEANaS and Hunter Surf Lifesaving.
“This is a great opportunity for influential companies to work together to deliver a great outcome for the community. We recognise the important role surf lifesaving clubs plays in keeping our beaches safe and bringing the local community together and we hope our support will free up funds for new infrastructure for the Hunter’s thirteen clubs.”
To date the proposal has generated letters of support from Federal Member for Newcastle, Sharon Claydon MP, State Member for Newcastle, Tim Owen AM MP, Newcastle City Council Lord Mayor, Jeff McCloy, both Hunter and Central Coast Surf Life Saving Associations, and the Clean Energy Council.
Please contact CLEANaS if you would like a list of media contacts at firstname.lastname@example.org
Listen to Richard and Rhonda talking to Paul Bevan on ABC Radio Newcastle 1233 Drive Time on Friday 11 July shortly after our bid was submitted.
Like our Kooragang Island Facebook Page to keep up to date with the developments of the community bid for the turbine.