Hepburn Wind has been awarded the World Wind Energy Award 2012 at the World Wind Energy Conference in Bonn, Germany. As the first co-operatively owned and managed wind farm in Australia, Hepburn has two turbines that power over 2,300 homes.
At the invitation of the World Wide Energy Association (WWEA), Hepburn Wind Community Officer Taryn Lane last night accepted the award and presented a paper on the Hepburn Wind story. The conference is held annually and this year featured a theme of 'Community Power – Citizens Power'.
"The award is given to the initiators of the Hepburn wind farm for launching Australia's first and groundbreaking community initiative that led to a 4.1 MW community owned wind farm, an excellent answer in particular in order to increase social understanding and acceptance of wind power," said Stefan Gsänger, Secretary of the WWEA.
"If we want to reach a 100 % renewable energy supply worldwide with wind energy as a cornerstone, we have to make sure that the local communities actively support this endeavour and that they benefit from the wind farms in their vicinity. Community Power ownership models offer an excellent approach to achieving this objective."
The award joins an impressive list of accolades, including; the Climate Alliance Innovator Award 2010, the Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Award 2011, the Banksia Environment Award 2011 and the Ethical Investor Australian Sustainability Award 2011.
There are around forty other community owned energy projects in development. Hepburn initiative Embark, is a non-profit organisation focused on accelerating the uptake of community renewable energy projects by providing practical capacity-building tools and seed and investment funding. Find out more at the wiki
Interested in renewable energy?
The Co-operatives Research Group (CRG) University of Sydney is holding an energy symposium on Monday, 3 September to discuss the role of co-ops in energy and sustainability. It will feature a presentation from Hepburn Wind, Australia’s first community-owned wind farm. Find out more