Category Archives: Renewable energy

Give the gift of solar

CANWin is joining with Repower Southern Highlands to help fund a solar power system for Challenge Southern Highlands.

Challenge runs the Welby Garden Centre near Mittagong, and does wonderful work providing training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Repower and CANWin are calling for donations from the community to help raise $10,000 on behalf of Challenge Southern Highlands.

CANWin has agreed to match donations up to a total of $5000. This means that for every $100 you donate, CANWin will match it with another $100.

Your donation will assist with the installation of a 12KW solar system at the Challenge SH facility in Welby, contributing to substantial savings in electricity and helping our environment!

How to donate

Challenge Southern Highlands – PO Box 1193 Bowral NSW 2576.
For deductions the Deductible Gift Recipient Number is SSO/ADVR/GF0283 and their Authority to Fundraise Number is: CFN10487

Direct Deposit:

BSB: 802 101
ACCOUNT NO: 100031037 REF: ([your name] Challenge Solar)

For more information

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Could you host a solar farm?

Could you host a solar farm?

Could you host a solar farm?


How and why of fossil-fuel freedom

Two great events this weekend: Friday’s CANWin speaker forum shows us how to get to fossil-fuel freedom; on Saturday afternoon Robertson CTC showcases the at-risk wonders of icy Antarctica.

Flier for speaker night 27 Feb.

Antarctica: A photographic journey

Glenn Dawson is a freelance photographer specialising in wildlife and nature. He and his cameras have made four trips to the Arctic, Alaska and Canada. Penguins with chicks He has also travelled twice to Africa to work and photograph wildlife and landscape. Robertson is to be treated to a presentation by Glenn, sharing his love and knowledge of the Antarctic, and other lands he has visited with a focus on nature, wildlife and cultures. Suitable for all ages.

Saturday 28th February, 3pm – 5pm; tickets $10. For bookings, contact the CTC, tel. 02 4885 2665.

Let’s help CORENA beat the RET Review

Let's fully fund 2nd CORENA Quick Win Project before the RET ReviewCORENA, one of CANWin’s partner organisations, is calling for help to get a solar PV project fully funded before July 1.

CORENA (Citizens’ Own Renewable Energy Network Australia Inc.) lends donated funds to community groups so that they can generate their own renewable energy. The loans are interest free, and the repayments go to fund more projects.

It’s a brilliant way for individuals and small organisations to give a big lift to community groups and an ongoing cut to carbon pollution.

Now the Federal government’s Renewable Energy Target Review threatens to make these grassroots efforts that much harder. Well nuts to that!! Renewables are the future, and no government has a mandate, or ultimately the power, to stop them.

Less than $4000 will see the second CORENA Quick Win project powering ahead.

If you’d like to donate, go to the CORENA website or click on the picture above.

From the CORENA Facebook page:

Pls help us get this project fully funded BEFORE the RET Review outcome has a chance to cause dramatic increases in solar prices.

We don’t know what the RET Review outcome will be, or when it will take effect. We assume STCs (the government’s contribution to the cost of solar) will remain in place at least till July 1, but after that we’ll be getting nervous.

What’s the “just right” size for your Solar Power system?

Southern Highland News, 15 May 2013. More articles from the CANWin column.
Goldilocks sat on Papa bear’s chair and it was too big. She sat on Mama bear’s chair and it was too small. Goldilocks sat on baby bear’s chair and it was just right.

The same applies for solar power systems. The “just right” system generates as much as possible for your household, but as little as possible for the electricity companies (because they pay next to nothing). So how do you know what’s just right for you?

Start with your last electricity bill. It has a graph showing your electricity usage over the last twelve months.

PowerBillIgnore off-peak electricity. Most solar power systems are only connected to one circuit, and that should be the biggest and most expensive circuit – the general household circuit.

You need to work out your average electricity usage per day over the whole year. In the illustration you can see the average use per day for the four quarters: 12kWh, 20kWh, 17kWh and 11kWh. Add them together and divide by 4 to get the average for the year: 15kWh. Pretty simple, but not quite the final answer yet.

Because a solar power system only generates power during daylight hours, for most households it will supply only about 40% of your daily electricity. (It’s less than half because most households use most of their electricity in the evening.)
40% of 15kWh is 6kWh. So your just right size solar power system will generate an average 6kWh per day.
One more step before you go shopping. You buy solar power systems in kilowatts (kW), not kilowatt hours (kWh). You need to convert your “just right” 6kWh into kW. In the Southern Highlands, that means you divide it by 3.5:

6kWh divided by 3.5 is about 1.7kW. So a 1.5kW to 2kW system will generate the right amount of power.
As electricity costs are rising, a 2kW system is “just right”.

Disclaimer: This is a simple way to calculate the approximate size for your solar power system. It neglects many factors such as roof orientation, pitch, future changes in electricity consumption, shading, solar panel efficiency etc. Please talk to a solar power professional for exact system sizing.

His energy, our need

Misdirected energy can be destructive. Redirecting it can work wonders.

Let’s work more wonders on the Highlands.

At last, a fossil carbon price

Today Australia starts to charge some 300 businesses and organisations for the fossil carbon they release to the air. The carbon price they pay will go towards helping us all adjust to the new, clean energy century.

Clean energy is especially important for regional Australia because it makes sense at all scales, from solar panels on traffic warning signs to multi MegaWatt solar thermal power stations. Small scale projects don’t hit the headlines, but hundreds of renewable energy systems are already making their mark on national demand.

Continue reading

Clean Energy Roadshow

Stories from the Clean Energy Frontline

The vast majority of Australians support a move to 100% clean energy.But some think we’re not ready yet.

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW (NCC) is hitting the road, sharing real stories from the clean energy frontline which prove that we’re 100% ready to start making the switch.

Hear real people tell their stories from the clean energy frontline: workers, farmers, small businesses, big businesses, inventors, investors and community leaders are seeing big benefits for themselves, their communities and Australia from the work that’s going on around the country.

Registrations are now open for clean energy forums in Wollongong, Queanbeyan and Wagga Wagga.  

For details of times and places, see the Nature Conservation Council website.