Saturday, 20 November 2010

WAITATI ENERGY PROJECT: Blueskin Power – an integrated energy community.

by Scott Willis
Community Consultation
Community discussion on how best to include everyone and assess the most helpful community turbine information will be held on 30 November at the next Waitati Energy Project (WEP) meeting -- potentially before you read this. While we still have no word on our funding request for comprehensive community consultation there is a research project now under way that will provide an opportunity to uncover what important questions about the community turbine are still to be answered. Seth Gorrie, who many of you may remember from his work in Blueskin Bay last year, is working over the summer researching 'Community Perspectives around Blueskin Power'; so don't be surprised if he knocks on your door.
Blueskin Power
Initially Blueskin Power referred to the community turbine project. It has developed subsequently as a response to feedback at the last WEP meeting, and to the greater potential in integrating other energy work, to mean 'an integrated energy community'. It is already more than an idea as we have been working in an integrated way for a while, but what Blueskin Power does make explicit is the value of including small wind (such as Powerhouse Wind's Thinair turbine), solar installs, smart meters, insulation, intelligent design and more, in the vision encapsulated by the community turbine. We are lucky that the distinct section of local grid we inhabit also expresses our wider Blueskin community. And the value to the community of integrated thinking has already been experienced (for example, in the 2009 WEP retrofit rollout) with further action in the pipeline. An even greater value, I believe, is available for the rest of the country, as we prove that an integrated approach to energy is also an excellent opportunity to promote and test green technology, and to demonstrate the effectiveness of collective action, while building a model for other communities.
So in November and December I'll be reporting on lessons learnt and seeking input from around NZ. On 24 November I'm presenting at the Otago Energy Research Centre Symposium in Dunedin. On 9 December I'm presenting at a Wellington 'Behavioural Innovators' Workshop'; and on 11 December I'm participating in an 'Energetics and Informatics' symposium in Whanganui.
Overseas student hosting opportunity
Then in February we have Xavier, a 20-year-old student in the European Business Management bachelors' degree programme, arriving from Belgium to spend 13 weeks with us looking at the business side of our project. Are you interested in hosting an overseas student? Xavier is a non-smoker, a friend of animals, loves music, and will happily fit in with a family interested in experiencing another culture. Xavier can contribute towards hosting costs. For more information contact Scott – see below.
Remember, more regular updates are sent out via the WEP update email, and you can contact me directly either at 03 4822048 / 0274888314 or at Have a great Christmas and relaxing summer holidays and make the most of that sun.
Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
From and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media: voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff, Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point), Dunedin, New Zealand. All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in the public domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and republished. If you want to credit the source it's "".

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