Bioenergy in the Northern Rivers

What are the benefits? What are your concerns?

A project initiated by the Northern Rivers BioHubs Consortium

You are invited to participate in an interactive workshop to assess community support for prospective bioenergy projects in the NSW Northern Rivers region.

Bioenergy is a form of energy produced from biomass, i.e. materials derived from plants, animals and their by-products. Examples include sugar cane residue, livestock waste, municipal green waste, forestry residues, and plants/weeds grown for energy.

During the workshop, you will learn more about bioenergy and its prospects in the Northern Rivers. You will take part in discussions around the potential benefits, concerns, and challenges of various bioenergy technologies and energy sources. You will also have the opportunity to rate your level of support for prospective industries.

Workshops will be held from 6-8pm (please arrive by 5.45) in four locations:

NIMBIN Thurs 15th Oct @ Birth and Beyond, Cullen St Thursday 15th October

MURWILLUMBAH Tues 20th Oct @ Canvas & Kettle Room, Civic and Cultural Centre, Tumbulgum Road 

CASINO Thurs 22th Oct @ North Coast Institute of TAFE, 144 Barker Street 

LISMORE Tues 27th Oct @ North Coast Institute of TAFE, 64 Conway Street 

Attendance is free and light refreshments will be provided.

To register your attendance at under ‘Bioenergy in the Northern Rivers’.

Alternatively, contact Richard Parsons at or 0402 475 951.



Science week Webinar

Teaching climate change – the problems and the solutions

You are invited to attend a free webinar on regional climate change projections and resources. Held during National Science Week, this webinar will be of interest to any secondary and tertiary educators in science, geography or environment.

About the webinar:

  • access and share regional climate projections from the NSW and ACT Regional Climate Model (NARCliM)
  • hear about the range of teaching resources available from the AdaptNSW website to use for your environmental education
  • discuss the challenges and solutions to adapting to climate change in NSW.

Presented by Kate Nairn, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations team

17 August, 4 – 5pm

Attend via Skype Webinar, or in person 59 Goulburn St, Sydney

RSVP for the event here

Social Licence for Bioenergy

Expression of interest for community engagement consultant needed

The Northern Rivers BioHubs Consortium (Lead Agency Nimbin Neighbourhood and Information Centre) has been funded by Regional Development Australia Northern Rivers and NSW OEH to undertake the NR Bio Hubs project.

The project involves pre-feasibility investigations into 3 potential biogas projects in the Northern Rivers – at Nimbin, Casino and Murwillumbah.

The project also involves determining the extent to which the community of the NR, particularly in the above 3 locations, is likely to grant a social license for bioenergy projects and any parameters or conditions impacting on their consent.

The project steering committee seeks expressions of interest from experienced consultants to undertake a community consultation process as identified in the Social License Community Consultations Implementation Plan.

EOIs may be forwarded by mail or email to the Project Manager by COB on Friday 21st AUGUST 2015.

For further information:

Natalie Meyer, Project Manager, Nimbin Neighbourhood and Information Centre

02 6689 1692 or 0428 661 843

Win Mullum Music Fest Gold pass!!

Community Owned Renewable Energy Mullumbimby (COREM) has received a NSW OEH Grant and is designing 2 community owned renewable energy projects for Mullumbimby.

COREM needs to find out what the local community wants. Complete the survey and go in the draw to win a Gold Pass to Mullum Music Fest!

COREM Survey

For more info about COREM and to be part of the Community Power movement to help decarbonise, democratise and decentralise our electricity network visit and the COREM Facebook page

Enova community forums

Enova Energy is a really innovative community owned company looking to retail electricity in the region and assist the Northern Rivers to shift from a fossil fuel economy.

Enova has grown out of a NSW OEH grant to a collaboration of local organisations and MCEF members looking at the feasibility of community owned retailing. Enova is preparing to launch a series of share offer information events and you can find details for registration, information and ticketing on their website.

A great article about ENOVA can be found here.


New C4CE Steering Committee Elected

The Coalition for Community Energy, the national peak body for community energy groups, is growing at a great rate.

Nine new steering groups members have just been elected by the community groups which make up the coalition:

  • Gareth Johnston, Catholic Earthcare Australia
  • Bruce Thompson, Moreland Energy Foundation
  • Paul Cruickshank, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
  • Taryn Lane, Embark
  • Eve Fisher, Surf Coast Shire Council
  • Craig Memery, Alternative Technology Association (ATA)
  • Ed Langham, Institute of Sustainable Futures at UTS (ISF)
  • James Grugeon, GetUp
  • Christina Kirsch, Clear Sky Investments

The focus of C4CE is on supporting community renewable projects and on lobbying for policy changes to make these viable.

To find out more:

Community Energy Grants

The recent OEH community energy grants were a big win for our region – eight out of 19 NSW funded projects in the Northern Rivers or nearby!

  • Repower Coffs: Opening up the cost benefits of rooftop solar to low income renters with the aim of installing 80kW of solar PV on up to 45 dwellings by end 2016.
  • Community Owned Renewable Energy Mullumbimby COREM: Developing a 75kW PV system in partnership with the local council, along with a social feasibility program to ensure effective community engagement.
  • Energy for Ever Port Macquarie: Developing a 70-100kW community-owned solar farm that generates revenue to fund further community energy projects through an annual grants program
  • Lismore Community Solar Farms ‘Farming the Sun’: Developing two 100kW solar farms through community investment and administration in partnership with the local council
  • Northern Rivers Community Bio Hubs: Developing a small-scale bio-gas project in a local dairy to create a business model for further development of two community-owned bio-hubs.
  • New England Wind (sort of our region!): Establishing NSW’s first community-owned wind farm, with a 10MW capacity, led by a consortium of community and professional organisations.
  • Community Run of Rivers Hydros Dorrigo: quantifying the hydroelectric potential of the Dorrigo Plateau and providing project development pathways and ownership models to benefit the local community.
  • Tyalgum Energy Project: Establishing a community led and managed cooperative for the development of a wholly community-owned project to take the entire town off the grid.

More information about these from Renewable Energy Coordinator Lauren Zell on 0455 097 886

URALLA Zero Net Energy Town

The town of Uralla is taking the first step in an exciting journey towards a renewable energy future.

For anyone who might feel inspired to make something similar happen on the North Coast, this state government funded project now has its own website:

Solar Power Planned For Lennox Wastewater Plant

Solar-Panels-180x180Ballina Shire Council wants to see the impressive solar panel array at the Ballina wastewater plant duplicated at the Lennox Head treatment plant.

To find out more:

Byron STP Powers Up on Renewable Energy

The West Byron Sewage Treatment Plant has stepped up its environmental credentials by installing a 50kW solar system.

The new solar panels went ‘live’ just before Christmas at the Byron Shire Council facility.

To find out more: