Tasmanian “Power to the Paddock” Agri-Energy Alliance initiative and upcoming Conference
were announced today at Connorville in Tasmania’s North.
The Agri-Energy Alliance is a group of likeminded Tasmanian Farmers who use their roofs
and their paddocks to make and distribute energy for the 21st Century
The alliance is working with a range of established energy companies and TasNetworks to
make Tasmania’s entire energy system, more reliable and more affordable.
The alliance wants Farmers who invest in solar to be able to use that power across their
entire farm and to sell excess energy at a fair price.
AEA founder & Partner at Xenergy, Mark Barnett wants to see a more equitable system in
place for farmers exploring solar options:- “Under the current energy transmission system, a
farmer with solar panels, generating energy, the surplus of which is sold into the grid while
two paddocks away at the woolshed, that same farmer is purchasing energy from the grid at
three times the price. This lack of equity acts as a hand-break on farmers investing in energy
resilience. It’s like buying a tractor and only being allowed to use it on one paddock. “
Mark Butler, Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change says, “As we are seeing
farmers from across the country investing in renewables to generate their own cheaper
cleaner power. Like for other sectors, renewables are opportunity for farmers to take more
control over their energy usage and lower their power bills”.
Farmers who have already signed up to the alliance;
Roderic O’Connor “It’s been a great desire of mine to be as energy independent as possible, I
think we need to be more self-reliant and solar power is a way to achieve that”.
Kate Sutherland at Cressy’s Burlington Berries “We were looking at our power bills, and
spending 50 thousand a year, and thinking what could we do to bring down our power bills?”
With 366 solar panels on her roof Burlington Berries are consuming almost all the power they
“Power prices have become a significant cost to farmers and to-date they have had no option
but to pay what the energy companies asked – whether it made sense or not. Good policy
like this encourages farmers to invest in renewable energy which benefits all Tasmanians.”
said Mr David Downie, former Northern Midlands Mayor
The Conference on March 19th will bring together farmers, energy providers, grid operators
and rural communities to showcase deals that have already been struck and look at how to
negotiate new ones.
Find out more …