The Maine’s Power project worked with large energy users in the Mount Alexander Shire to contribute towards a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2010 from 2006 levels. It also aims to work towards zero net emissions by 2020 while increasing the security of energy supply in the Shire.
This will be achieved through:
- Partnering with business
- Reducing energy consumption while maintaining productivity
- Exploring options to implement embedded energy generation technologies such as cogeneration and renewables
- Managing energy demand to decrease peak loads on the Castlemaine substation.
While the project will provide a local innovative solution to a sustainability issue, lessons learnt in the project will be applicable to other communities around Australia.
MASG work with the CSIRO and our Shire’s four main employers on the Maines Power project, which investigated ways to reduce their greenhouse footprints by 30% by 2010 while increasing energy security for the area.
The $386,000 project was funded by Regional Development Victoria Planning for Change, Sustainability Victoria Smart Energy Zones, Powercor, SP AusNet, MASG and financial contributions from the four industries and the Mount Alexander Shire Council.
An executive summary of the project is available for downloading here (95 kb) Maine Recomendations and Findings – July 09
A pdf file of the Final Report is available for downloading here (3 Mb) maines-power-final-report
The other stage reports are also available for downloading here
Stage 1 executive summary (30 kb) maines-power-stage-1-exec-summary
Stage 1: Foundation Building report (8Mb) maines-power-stage1abridged-report
Stage 2: Options Development Executive Summary (80Kb) mp-stage-2-exec-summmary
Stage 2: Options Development report (3 Mb) maines-power-stage-2-report1
Although the feasibility and planning stage of the project is now completed MASG continues to monitor the project’s implementation and impact.
To date Castlemaine Health (ex Mt Alexander Hospital) is on target to meet the 30% target and has reduced their energy usage by 7 % last year and a further 12% this year and is getting 15% of its electricity from renewable energy Green Power. The energy efficiency improvements will save the hospital over $35,000 per year.
Don KRC is implementing some on-site energy generation (Co Generation) and combined with some energy efficiency initiatives should see them exceed the target and reduce their emissions by over 50% per kg of product produced.
Further details of what actions have been undertaken as a result of the project by project partners as at November 2009 can be downloaded here (130kb) maines-power-actions-update-nov-09
MAINE’S POWER PROJECT OUTLINE
Maine’s Power is one of 10 national projects under the umbrella of the CSIRO Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI). This CSIRO program aims to broker projects in which people work together to develop and deliver solutions to local sustainability challenges and opportunities. The SCI is pioneering collaborative approaches to address sustainability challenges such as water security, greenhouse pollution and energy security. It does so by working in partnership with communities, business, government and non-government organisations.
The project partners span government, private industry and non-governmental organisations, all of whom are fundamental to achieving the project aims.
The partners include:
- Australian Greenhouse Office
- Australian Industries Group
- Central Victorian Area Consultative Committee
- IAG – Insurance Australia Group
- ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
- KR Castlemaine
- Mount Alexander Hospital
- Mount Alexander Shire Council
- Mount Alexander Sustainability Group
- Origin Energy
- Regional Development Victoria
- Sustainability Victoria
- The Natural Edge Project
- Victoria Carpets
- Victorian Government’s Department of Sustainability and Environment
Mt Alexander Mayor, Councillor Alan Elliot summed up this project in saying: “The people of Mount Alexander Shire have been proactive in dealing with the impacts of climate change and the Council itself is striving to achieve a number of ambitious targets in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This project is a great illustration of the willingness of people and businesses in the community to work together to address one the major issues of our time”.