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SERREE Renewable Energy Business Forum

17 May 2017

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NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy Ben Franklin MLC and ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury MLA joined over a hundred of the ACT and surrounding NSW region’s renewable energy leaders at the SERREE Business Forum held at The Link at Ginninderry on Wednesday, 17 May.

Minister Rattenbury introduced the opening Forum session at which NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy Ben Franklin outlined potential industry opportunities arising from the draft NSW Climate Change Strategy - Advanced Energy.

This strategic plan sets out priority investment areas and potential actions using $500 million of new funding from the $1.4 billion Climate Change Fund over the next five years. Most of the potential actions will rely on strong partnerships between the NSW Government and the private sector, particularly with those leading the energy sector.

The second Forum session introduced a number of companies at the forefront of renewable energy infrastructure construction in Australia. Firstly, the two contractors playing a key role in the construction of Crookwell II Wind Farm under a consortium arrangement – Sam Pearce, Project Manager, BMD Constructions who are completing the civil scope; and Steve Drefke, Project Manager, Consolidated Power Projects who are providing the high voltage electrical scope.

Matt Doyle, Business Development Manager with Bouygues Construction Australia then presented an overview of the three ARENA-supported solar farms they are currently constructing for Neoen Australia in regional NSW.

(L-R) Ben Franklin MLC, NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy; Liz Veitch, Executive Director, Regional Development Australia ACT and Director, SERREE; Professor Ross Garnaut AO; Shane Rattenbury MLA, ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability; and Mark Schneider, SERREE Chair and Principal, Megawatt Capital.

Distinguished Professor Ross Garnaut AO opened the third Forum session program speaking on Microgrids – the Industry, the Science and the Social Dimensions. Ross, the author of many influential books and papers, is now a Professorial Research Fellow in Economics at The University of Melbourne, Chairman of the China Economy and Business Program at the Australian National University, and Chairman of ZEN Energy, a solar and battery storage company.

An entertaining speaker, Ross’s thoughtful presentation was followed by speakers from local companies working in the microgrid space including Simon Evans, Beast Solutions and Jessica Stewart, Ginninderry, two of the key proponents developing the innovative energy solutions – a hallmark of the Ginninderry development.

This event was the 10th in the popular series of SERREE Renewable Energy Business Forums led by Regional Development Australia ACT, and supported by key SERREE funding partners including ARENA, the NSW and ACT Governments, RDA Southern Inland, and the region’s renewable energy Business and Industry sector.

Many thanks to Riverview Developments for providing the Forum venue: The Link at Ginninderry – the first 6-star Green Star Community development in our region. Designed as a multi-purpose building for the community, the structure is a contemporary statement of sustainability excellence that works in blissful harmony with its surrounding semi-rural environment. Spilling out to enjoy a BBQ lunch in this setting on a gloriously sunny day was a fabulous finale to the morning program.

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