The Andrews Labor Government is helping businesses and residents in the township of Euroa cut their energy costs through a new investment in microgrid projects.

Labor Upper House Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes, visited Euroa today to announce a $680,000 grant towards the Euroa Microgrid, as part of the Labor Government’s state wide Microgrid Demonstration Initiative.

The $6 million project, led by Euroa Environment Group, will demonstrate the economic opportunities for shared renewable energy and battery assets in communities.

It will reduce the local demand for electricity from the grid and reduce the need for seasonal diesel generators. In doing so, the community of Euroa will demonstrate an economic alternative for local renewable generation for network operators.

Euroa Environment Group will work with Mondo Power and Globird Energy as well as 14 businesses within Euroa which will install 589 kW of new solar PV and up to 400 kWh of new batteries.

The project may eventually extend to the residential community of Euroa and to other towns as it will demonstrate how a microgrid can operate.

“Microgrid projects are part of our plan to drive down energy prices, reduce emissions and create a pipeline of investment in renewable energy and North East Victorian communities should be congratulated for driving these projects,” Ms Symes said.

“This initiative will demonstrate how a microgrid can operate in country Victoria and provide economic benefits to the Euroa community.

“What we have here in Euroa is an exceptional demonstration of the community, business and environmental groups all working together to not only reduce our energy use but secure it through renewables.”

A microgrid is a small network of electricity users with a local supply of power that can function independently of the electricity grid, delivering energy security, sustainability and cost savings for those in the network.

A microgrid generally operates while connected to the grid, but importantly, it can break off and operate on its own using local energy generation in times of crisis like storms or power outages. Microgrids also share excess energy produced back into the network for other users.

The Microgrid Demonstration Initiative was announced in 2017 as a part of the Victorian Government’s $146 million Renewable Energy Action Plan.

Victoria is taking action on climate change and delivering Victorian Renewable Energy Targets of 25 per cent by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025.