The Bendigo Sustainability Group brings together people with a shared interest in sustainable living in Bendigo. We have a few action groups doing awesome things out there in the community. Be part of a growing community that’s taking individual and collective action to improve the future of Bendigo. Everyone’s welcome!
BSG has been operating for 10 years. Over that period the BSG has been involved in the successful delivery of a wide range of projects and programs.
Bendigo’s long history as a gold-mining town has left a legacy and over the past two years volunteers from the BSG have been looking at the possibility to use some of the underground mine workings (comprising approximately 5,000 shafts some over 1000 m deep) to store locally generated renewable electricity.
Pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) can store energy in some ways like a rechargeable battery – with energy able to be released to help meet peak and potentially overnight energy demands. In the second half of 2017 a pre-feasibility study was undertaken that determined that the project has the potential to be technically feasible and economically viable, and should progress to a full feasibility study. The concept proposed for further development is an inter-reef pumped hydro system with a capacity of up to 30 MW which can store up to six hours or 180 MWh of energy.
The project is an exciting prospect for cost-effective energy storage in regional Victoria through adaptive reuse of existing infrastructure and we welcome the next step of a detailed feasibility study to further develop this project.
Please click here for further information.
The BSG and CoGB are now moving to the next stage of community solar on council owned buildings over the next 2 years.
The first of these building / solar installations was the Bendigo Archive Centre and where we installed 30kW of solar.
BSG is using different funding models and a mixture of financial instruments for these future installations.
BSG was appointed project managers by a local charity organisation and Bendigo Tramways to project manage the installation of 50 kW of solar. The charity will invest funds in the solar installation and get a return of capital and an excellent interest rate. After 10 years they will gift the solar installation back to the Tramways.
During 2016 BSG raised $17,000 by crowd funding for 11 kW of solar on the Discovery Centre. The organisation raised over 50% more than the target. This has enabled the discovery centre to plan for a sophisticated educational information display.
As part of the Energy efficiency program supported by the Victorian Government the BSG setup an Energy Efficiency pop up shop. This shop provided an opportunity once a month for people to drop in and bring their electricity bill to assist them to understand their electricity bill and how they might be able to get a better deal.
BSG undertook over 50 sessions to local charity support and community organisations to explain energy efficiency and how to use the “switched on” online program. The group installed over 100 in home energy displays into low income and disadvantaged households.
In 2015 BSG was one of the first community organisations in Australia to use crowd funding to raise $25,000 to enable the successful installation of 20 kW of solar on the Bendigo Library.
The project was unique and breaking new ground to enable a ‘not-for-profit’ community organisation to own and ‘sell’ solar generated electricity. As a result it took over 3 years to work through the process and legislative framework and required two state ministers approval for the BSG to enter into a 20 year power purchase agreement with the City Of Greater Bendigo Council.
“Goldfields Solarhub” was a bulk buy solar program that encouraged over 650 households to install solar PV systems. Almost 2MW of solar PV was installed through the Goldfields Solar Hubs program resulting in Bendigo now being well above state and national averages for the installation rates of solar PV systems.
BSG worked with local businesses through the web based tool Grow Me The Money to reduce their environmental impact and business costs. We helped businesses set up green teams, develop and implement action plans, communicate with staff, and understand their energy bills and energy use. (2010-2012. Funding from VECCI: Grow Me The Money.)
One of five community sustainability groups to build a network of reliable, local suppliers, making energy smart and cost effective choices easier for 800 households. (Funding from Sustainability Victoria.)
Each year we run the Sustainable Living Festival and the Sustainable House Day.
Every two years we run Sustainable Awards
Strategic Plan 2018 – 2022
Bendigo Sustainability Group (BSG) committee has been developing this Strategy to provide direction to the activities of the group over 4 years.
BSG is now working on the action list in line with the one planet principles referenced in the strategy, in order to form a full strategic plan for the next 4 years.
To begin with the BSG committee has selected three key areas of interest in line with the principles. Including our commitment to our current renewables projects under the Zero Carbon Energy principle, these following three principles will be priority in our actions for the period of the plan.
Promoting sustainable humane farming and healthy diets in local, seasonal organic food and vegetable protein
Reducing the need to travel, and encouraging walking, cycling and low carbon transport
Using water efficiently, protecting local water sources and reducing flooding and drought
BSG will not be turning down any opportunity to work on other areas but has agreed to proactively pursue the above. We are conscious of our resources and so realise we need to focus on specific areas to ensure we don’t overstretch.
We are now developing our action list in line with our selection We will do this by creating action groups for each of the three principles. This will include representatives from the BSG committee along with normal members and representatives from the community.
We would love you to join us and get involved. Become part of the action! The following opportunities are currently open:
Get a taste for what we are all about. Check out photos of our activities, upcoming events, and our latest social media updates.
Got a question or interested in joining us? We’d love to hear from you so please submit an enquiry and we will get in touch with you soon.
Interested in joining us? Submit an enquiry with this form and we will get back in touch with you about becoming a member.