The Australian town ditching the power companies and going off-gridAustralia may be wedded to coal, but one town in the country's east wants to carve out its own future, no fossil fuels in sight.
[MUSIC] You wouldn't think a town of 350 people would have a need for solar power bikes. But here in the Town of Tyalgum on the east coast of Australia. They They wanna remove the dependence on the electricity grid and go completely renewable. [MUSIC] So Tyalgum Energy Project is a community energy project that aims to take the whole town of Tyalgum and the surrounding village off grid, and make them carbon neutral using renewable energy only [BLANK_AUDIO] [MUSIC] While being off-grid was an important goal, being carbon-neutral was probably more important. So an important step in becoming carbon-neutral, more importantly than off-grid is becoming as efficient as possible with how you use energy So one way to do that is install energy monitors within the meter box. And that goes to a web portal, and people can then have a look at graphs of their data and turn this data to match up when they were using energy, for how much they were using. This time we wanted to be off-grid and we want people to value the fact that they've got a say in the cost of energy. I think Australia, generally, with our renewable policy is Is not progressive at all, and we've got so much more capability, we're got the technical expertise, we've got the land, we've got the availability, and we just need the foresight and the leadership. [MUSIC] As soon as I drive in I was just like wow, how come I haven't been here before. It was just a great vibe when I came in. I went up to one of the little cafes up the road And there's just this little hidden world out here that I wasn't aware of. I bought the old butter factory down the road and it was this big cool building that didn't have much use for it. And I thought what could I do with this building here in relationship to educating the general public about sustainability and renewable energy in general? [MUSIC] So my name's Palladan Nova and I work in the bake house. Like a lot of people here, I've got a few different things that I'm involved with. [MUSIC] I know small towns at the end of the grid, it sometimes costs more to send power down that grid. We often get power cuts, so I think as an introductory, pilot exercise it's great to look at this with small towns like us. The cafe that I'm involved with we have a system that covers 30-40% of our use and we're also looking to do it with some of the other businesses in town. Our first solar system that was put in, takes the energy direct, and puts it into a system that we're using during the day. [BLANK_AUDIO] So where is all the solar power going to come from? Well right now, the people of Tyalgum have solar panels on their roofs. But the goal is to eventually take this paddock and put in a giant covered walk way, covered with enough solar panels to power the entire town And beyond. Now, in our case, that's enough to provide a majority of power that we use in the township itself. It wouldn't give us the ability to retile or have any over and above power, but it would certainly be enough to offset most of our usage. We have identified another area just out of town were we'd put on more like a commercial solar ray. And that's totally what we'd be using for re-tile commercial sawing. Coal is necessary obviously, and we're wedded to coal for the time being. But we need to be phasing out of it. I'm hoping to Talgum a part, an example and a good one. Show her that this is what can be done. [BLANK_AUDIO]