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MEDIA

Media Releases & Reporting

Find the latest media updates on the Mullum Mini Hydro Project 

 

MEDIA RELEASE
MULLUMBIMBY VINTAGE HYDRO
PRE-FEASIBILITY STUDY COMMUNITY LAUNCH

27th September 2018

Media Release

27th September 2018

Mullumbimby Vintage Hydro

Pre-Feasibility Study Community Launch – 11th October 2018

Community Owned Renewable Energy Mullumbimby (COREM) is proud to announce the community launch of the Mullumbimby Mini Hydro Pre-Feasibility study written by Entura Energy as part of the NSW Government Department of Planning and Environment, Clean Energy Knowledge Sharing Initiative.

Join COREM in celebrating the 3 year journey to date investigating the potential to re-commission this historically significant Mullumbimby vintage power station on Thursday the 11th of October, 2018, at the Mullumbimby Drill Hall Theatre, for a free community event.

“We are very excited to be at this stage with the Mullum Mini Hydro project where we can share with the community the results of this pre-feasibility study. It’s taken a long time to get to this point and we do still have a way to go, however completing this report is a significant milestone”, commented Project Manager, Svea Pitman.


Doors will open at 5.30pm and the presentations will commence at 6.30pm. The evening will include a vegetarian dinner by donation, guest speakers and information on the 100year history of the Mullumbimby Hydro Electric power station.

COREM will also be officially announcing the opening of the Mullum Mini Hydro pop-up office at the Mullumbimby Railway station IQ Platform offices in town, just behind the Council chambers, where community members will be able to come and access information about the project over the next few weeks.


“We feel confident COREM has established relationships with the key stakeholders in this project, namely Essential Energy and the Byron Shire Council and we have a great deal of community interest already. It seems illogical not to get the hydro station up and running again, particularly considering nearly all the infrastructure is still in place from when it was last operational”, Ms Pitman continued.


Minister for Energy and Utilities Don Harwin said the NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s $300,000 Clean Energy Knowledge Sharing Initiative is supporting 10 projects and feasibility studies across the state, including this one.


“The initiative provides an opportunity for innovators and early adopters to test and trial new clean energy solutions,” Mr Harwin said.


“Government relies on strong partnerships with the private sector as part of our transition to a clean, affordable and reliable energy future.”


For information about the Clean Energy Knowledge Sharing Initiative, visit https://www.energy.nsw.gov.au/ksiprojects


If you would like further information or comment, please contact                                             Project Manager Svea Pitman 0423 158 368                                           mullumhydro@gmail.com svea_pitman@bigpond.com

MEDIA RELEASE

NSW MINISTERS VISIT VINTAGE HYDRO IN MULLUMBIMBY

14th August 2018

14th August 218

NSW Ministers Visit Vintage Hydro in Mullumbimby


A mini hydro plant, dating back to 1926, took a step towards being bought back to life after Community Owned Renewable Energy Mullumbimby (COREM) was successful in receiving a $22 000 grant from the NSW Government’s Clean Energy Knowledge Sharing Initiative.

COREM will undertake a pre-feasibility study to investigate whether the Essential Energy owned Mullumbimby Hydro Power Station, can be switched back on.

NSW Minister for Energy and Resources, Hon Don Harwin, who provided the grant funding, Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Water, Hon Niall Blair and NSW Renewable Energy Secretary, Hon Ben Franklin attended the Mullumbimby hydro power station and Laverty’s Gap weir with COREM Project Manager Svea Pitman.

“Having both Ministers on site last week was an enormous show of support for this project from the NSW government and COREM is thrilled to have Minister Blair’s interest in this innovative and historically significant project”, Ms Pitman stated.

 “COREM is very excited to receive this support from the NSW government. We are in a great position with this project with nearly all the original hydro infrastructure still in place. The weir and race currently provide the town water supply to Mullumbimby and the original turbines are on site at the old power house which is adjacent to the Mullumbimby sub-station”, Project Manager Svea Pitman said.

“We are working with all the have all the key stakeholders players on board at this timeincluding Essential Energy, Byron Shire Council, the NSW Renewable Energy Secretary Hon Ben Franklin and the NSW government. There are some regulatory barriers around access to water however the weir was originally constructed for the hydro so we are hopeful these can be overcome. With this funding we will be able to ascertain if the project can progress further,” she continued.

The entire hydro site is also heritage listed with state, national and international significance, and re-commissioning the power station would be a fitting way to celebrate the nearly 100 year old history Mullumbimby has with community owned community owned renewable energy.  

Minister for Energy and Utilities Don Harwin said the NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s $300,000 Clean Energy Knowledge Sharing Initiative is supporting 10 projects and feasibility studies across the state, including this one.


“The initiative provides an opportunity for innovators and early adopters to test and trial new clean energy solutions,” Mr Harwin said.


“Government relies on strong partnerships with the private sector as part of our transition to a clean, affordable and reliable energy future.”


For information about the Clean Energy Knowledge Sharing Initiative, visit https://www.energy.nsw.gov.au/ksiprojects


If you would like further information or comment, please contact                                             Project Manager Svea Pitman 0423 158 368                                           mullumhydro@gmail.com svea_pitman@bigpond.com

Photos by Don Watkins, available in high resolution upon request to the email above

MEDIA RELEASE 

PUMPED STORAGE HYDRO POTENTIAL FOR MULLUMBIMBY

22nd September 2017

Media Release

22nd September 2017

Pumped Storage Hydro Potential for Mullumbimby


According to a new study from ANU Pumped Storage Hydro (PSH) is a key component of a rapid transition to renewable energy for Australia, and Mullumbimby is on the map!

COREM has been working on investigating the steps to recommission the Laverty’s Gap Hydro Electric Power Station for the past 2 years, and PSH could be the key to getting it up and running again.

A major step forward for the Mullum Mini Hydro occurred with a key stakeholders meeting and site visit held on July 27th, with attendees including, Essential Energy, COREM, Byron Shire Council, OEH, DPI, Enova, and National MP Ben Franklin, who is the NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy.

Svea Pitman, the Project Manager, said, “The major impediment at this stage to the Mullum Mini Hydro project, is access to the water from the weir, as the current 10 year Water Sharing Plan has no allocation for the hydro, despite the weir being built for this purpose by the community almost 100 years ago.”

“Pumped Storage Hydro is a way around this issue”, she continued. “PSH is a closed system with water returned to the original source, in this case the Laverty’s Gap weir. The release of Professor Blakers’ research yesterday by ANU is timely for us as it brings political focus to PSH designs and their significant potential to increase solar PV penetration.

We are aiming for a rapid transition to 100% renewable energy generation in the Byron Shire, and the Mullum Mini Hydro can help increase the rate of solar by addressing intermittency issues. Hydro electricity is a quickly deployed source of renewable energy and can be used to balance the generation from solar PV, which varies of course over a day.”

COREM is very proud to be part of the mobilisation of the Byron Shire Energy Action Tank, and thrilled by the recent support to build 70MW of community-owned solar PV projects in the Byron Shire; as PSH requires electricity to pump the water back to the weir, this large scale generation will allow COREM to offset the pumping with our own solar generation.

Hydro experts, Entura Energy have been supporting COREM with the Mullum Mini Hydro project and in preparation for a pre-feasibility study, will be undertaking a full hydrological resource assessment, including new sources of hydro generation, in coming weeks.


For further information please contact:

Svea Pitman – +61 423 158 368                                                          Ella Goninan - +61 456 204 018

Project Manager                                                                      COREM President

svea_pitman@bigpond.com                                                     ella@corem.org.au


The Laverty’s Gap hydro power station ran from 1926 to the 1960’s and was decommissioned in 1990. It was saved from demolition in 2008 by local residents and lodged a Heritage application, which was granted in 2014.

The original generation capacity of the hydro was 288Kw from 2 pelton wheel turbines that are still on site. Essential Energy manages the power station. The weir and race are still intact and provide the town water for Mullumbimby. The Hydro Power Station is adjacent Essential Energy’s Mullumbimby Substation, ideal for grid connection.