Innovative, engaging projects recognised in clean energy awards

Manymak Energy Efficiency Project workers
Manymak Energy Efficiency Project workers

A Northern Territory program that has helped indigenous communities reduce their power use, and an innovative project to reduce power spikes using solar and storage, have been announced as the winners of the Clean Energy Council (CEC) Awards.

Power and Water Corporation won the Community Engagement Award for the Manymak Energy Efficiency Project, which worked with six indigenous communities in the Territory. The program successfully helped people living in these areas to reduce their power bills and energy use, and employed 81 Yolngu energy efficiency workers.

Victorian power utility United Energy took out the Innovation Award for a project that used solar and storage to cut peaks in electricity usage, and reduced the need for an additional spend on poles and wires. Nonetheless it was a cloud platform that allowed it to operate individual storage units remotely and on demand that the CEC said set the initiative apart.

This year the CEC introduced the Outstanding Contribution to Industry Award, which was won by Fiona O’Hehir, CEO of Greenbank Environmental.

“Fiona has made a long standing contribution to the renewable energy sector and recently made a massive personal sacrifice to ensure integrity of the solar industry and to protect the strong and positive reputation of the solar industry amongst Australian householders,” CEC chief executive Kane Thornton said.

“People like Fiona make this industry a great one, and I am proud to present her with this inaugural award tonight in recognition of her extraordinary efforts on behalf of this industry.

“The standard of entries improves every year, and I very much look forward to seeing the quality of projects in next year’s awards.”