By Scott Willis
This month there are three important community meetings in three different Blueskin settlements, to report on the developments in the Blueskin wind cluster project and to get more feedback on the project. The hope is that by bringing a meeting to 'a place near you' people will be able to come along and contribute thoughts and ideas, and get an update from the horse's mouth, as it were. Catch up on where it's at on:
· Thursday, 15 Nov. Long Beach Hall, 7–9pm
· Friday, 16 Nov. Warrington Hall, 7–9pm
· Monday, 19 Nov. Waitati Hall, 7–9pm.
Over Labour weekend our family attended a big family reunion in Roxburgh – it was 150 years since my great great grandfather Andrew Young along with three others staked a claim on the Teviot river. I took the opportunity to check out again the small power schemes in the area owned by Pioneer Generation, and Jason from Pioneer took a few of us to see the hydro stations on the Teviot and explained the long history of small scale local energy innovation.
Some of us also went out to Horseshoe Bend, the location of Pioneer's first wind development (three turbines), and to Mt Stuart (nine turbines) near Waitahuna, which was opened earlier this year. Both the hydro and wind turbines were well served, as you can imagine, by the wild Labour weekend weather of wind and water. A field trip to Mt Stuart for those interested in the possibilities of local renewable generation is something we'll be putting together this month.
The Energy Advice trial (a partnership between the University of Otago's Energy Cultures Team and the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust) will end this month, however for the first three weeks of November you can still get telephone advice each Mon and Tues by phone on 482 2207.
We are now exploring promising avenues to build a more durable community service, shaped on what we've learned best suits the community and gets results for home owners. Energy Advice Project Manager Chris Freear is also working to bring together a "Cosy Home Symposium" in Dunedin in 2013 to bring together the different agencies and organisations which want to work on fuel poverty issues and develop a single vision for Dunedin.
BRCT capacity is directed at present towards the Blueskin wind cluster project, Energy Advice and the solar project – that together form the suite of generation and consumer initiatives that is the Blueskin Energy Project.
Visit us at www.blueskinpower.co.nz, or at the office at 1121 Mt Cargill Rd, Waitati (on Waitati School grounds). Telephone enquiries can be made on 482 2048 (the Wind Cluster) and 482 2207 (Energy Advice) and for more information about the solar project email Chris Le Breton at firstname.lastname@example.org.