Looking for Australia’s First Net Zero Town

July 29, 2014 By Karen Henry

NSW-energy-manageA consortium of energy, community and academic groups are working in conjunction with the New South Wales (NSW) government to find Australia’s first zero net energy town (ZNET), Renew Economy reports.

The groups are currently creating a project blueprint and business case for the project, with the goal of creating a system in a rural town in the New England Region of NSW in which electricity is generated locally from renewable sources and stored and distributed on a localized microgrid.

If the project is successful, the model could be repeated in other rural communities, allowing them to create their own microgrids with just a small connection to the main grid.

Organizations participating in the ZNET project include the Institute for Rural Futures at the University of New England; the Office of Adam Marshall, Member for Northern Tablelands; the Regional Clean Energy Program of NSW Office of Environment & Heritage; NSW Trade & Investment.

The project is estimated to be completed by June 2015.

Similar projects have been undertaken in the United States. In 2013, Lancaster, Calif., mandated that all new homes be equipped with solar power, with the goal of producing more energy from the sun than it consumes.

Image via Shutterstock.

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