by Niki Bould
Happy New Year to everyone! We, at the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust (BRCT), are kicking off the new year with some exciting funding news. Firstly, we must thank the Hikurangi Foundation for their continued support of our Blueskin Wind Cluster project (see Scott's article for more details).
Secondly, we have received support from the Lottery Grants Board research fund which has enabled us to partner with Ahika Consulting and the Otago Polytechnic to further our work on climate change planning that originated with the Dunedin City Council last year. We will be focusing on the Blueskin food system, and talking to many members of our community who grow their own produce, either for personal or commercial use.
Thirdly, Bendigo Valley Foundation has provided $1500 in support of our project to put six solar panels up on the roof of the BRCT office in order to generate electricity. Six panels are more than enough for our wee office, so all the additional power we generate will go straight to Waitati School. The primary reason for this renewable electricity generation system, however, is to provide an educational tool for students and a demonstration model for members of the Blueskin community. Students can learn about renewable energy and energy monitoring, and others will be able to see the efficiency of solar panels in our local climate (hmm, how are solar panels fairing this summer?). We will be able to reliably report our energy monitoring research to all and answer questions about the advantages and disadvantages of solar systems. So bring on the sun!
We have had some changes in our trustees this year. We have welcomed the news that Katie Parker will stay with us until our AGM (around the end of May) because we have had to say goodbye to one of our newest trustees, Katherine Dixon, as she heads overseas. BRCT wishes Katherine and her family all the best for their adventure and we look forward to their return.