Tag Archives: Old Midland Courthouse

Community Energy forum wrap

On Monday night we held a Community Energy Forum in Midland. It was short notice, but great to have the opportunity to hear from visiting Community Energy researcher Jarra Hicks. She outlined some of the inspiring community energy projects she’s visited around the world.

You can download a copy of Jarra’s slides here. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough battery to record all her presentation. So if you have video/camera expertise and would like to help in the future, please let us know. Thanks to Michelle Kwok for the Iphone videos below!

Barb’s take away messages from the Congress:

Jenny’s summary from the Congress of different community energy models:

 Download a PDF copy of Barb and Jenny’s slides

To finish the night, Tom Tolchard also presented a summary of the feedback we received at the Guildford Energy launch earlier in the year. Download a PDF copy of Tom’s slides

Following the Community Energy Forum on 21st July and our previous launch, we’re hosting two opportunities for people to come discuss what direction they would like Guildford Energy to take?

  • What should Guildford Energy focus on and aim to achieve?
  • What business model / financial arrangement / governance structure appeals to you?
  • Do you have any ideas for specific projects?
  • Are you interested in investing in such a project?

Join us for one of two facilitated discussions:

Opportunity 1:

Date: Tuesday, 19th August
Venue: Stirling Arms Hotel
Time: 7 pm start

More details and please RSVP

Opportunity 2:
Date: Saturday, 23rd August
Venue: Mechanics Institute
Time: 1 pm start
More details and please RSVP

Guildford Energy Logo


100% Renewable Energy Forum a Hit

On August 22 Transition Town Guildford and Hills Sustainability Group hosted an eastern suburbs forum on the Greens “Energy 2029” plan. The forum was an outstanding success, with standing room only at the Old Midland Courthouse. Over 60 interested and concerned people attended what was alternately an interesting, thought provoking and alarming evening. We apologise to the many people who tried but could not get tickets to this event. We will book a larger venue next time!


Senator Ludlam explains Energy 2029 plan to a packed Old Midland Courthouse.

MC’d by our own Barb Frey, the first speaker was Greens Senator Scott Ludlam. Senator Ludlam briefly outlined the well-known issues around climate change and our energy greedy society before moving on to solutions to the problem. In 2012 the Greens commissioned SEN (Sustainable Energy Now) to carry out a detailed technical analysis of the electricity grid in Western Australia’s southwest with the objective of determining if it could be run entirely using renewable energy.

The answer is YES…..and it can be done by 2029.

Senator Ludlam was followed by Steve Gates from SEN with a technical but accessible explanation of how this could be achieved. The major problem with renewables in the past has been that they have difficulties supplying electricity continuously such as at night or when the wind doesn’t blow. These problems have been overcome by using a mix of technologies across the grid that essentially store energy during periods of excess allowing it to be used during periods of shortage. These are:

  • Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST). Those towers surrounded by mirrors that can also store heat for days as molten salt.
  • Solar Photovoltaic (PV). The friendly solar panels adorning so many of our homes.
  • Wind energy. Wind turbines.
  • Wave energy. Power generated from the movement of waves.
  • Geothermal energy. AKA “Hot Rocks”.
  • Bioenergy. Farmers earn extra income by planting native oil mallee trees that are used to generate power.
  • Pumped hydro. During sunny/windy days excess electricity from PV’s and wind turbines is used to pump water to elevated dams which are used to generate hydro-electricity when needed.

The 19 MW Gemsolar CST plant in Spain.

All of these technologies are currently in use around the world and are rapidly decreasing in cost. They now challenge our current “dirty” fossil fuel generation systems in terms of capital cost even before health and environmental costs are considered.

I took two significant positive things away from the forum:
1. It can be done. The technology is available NOW and it is affordable.
2. The high turnout for this forum indicates a strong public interest in renewable energy and represents a demand for politicians to take immediate action to develop this type of plan.

Further details of the Energy 2029 plan are available here

Sustainable Energy Now (SEN) – http://www.sen.asn.au/

Hills Sustainability Group – http://www.hsg.org.au/

Midland Reporter article on the energy forum

Midland Reporter article on the energy forum

Plastic Free July Launch a Success

The Plastic Free July Launch on Wednesday 26th June was a great success, with around 50 interested people coming down to the Old Midland Courthouse to find out more about ways to eliminate single use plastic from their lives!

Plastic Free July Launch - Brigita and Jenny sewing reusable produce bags

Brigita and Jenny sewing reusable produce bags

Transition Town Guildford teamed up with Hills Sustainability Group and City of Swan to present the event. This was a winner co-organising combo, which we hope to repeat in future.

Plastic Free July Launch - Ingredients for making your own muesli

Ingredients for making your own muesli

Eleanor Chaos opened the event with a short talk about the Plastic Free July challenge and her experiences of doing it last year. After this attendees were invited to wander through the two main rooms of the Courthouse which had been set up with a variety of interesting stalls.

Plastic Free July Launch - Raelene makes gift bags from recycled newspaper

Raelene makes gift bags from recycled newspaper

Stay tuned for a screening of the movie ‘Bag It’ on 9th July, and the official Plastic Free July Wind-up event on Wednesday 31st July, 7pm at Old Midland Courthouse.

Plastic Free July Launch - It's fun being plastic free!

It’s fun being plastic free!