Locals fire up to attend power forum

Tristan WheelerManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Geoff Bourgault and Warren-Blackwood MLA Terry Redman were among the panellists who spoke at the forum.
Camera IconGeoff Bourgault and Warren-Blackwood MLA Terry Redman were among the panellists who spoke at the forum. Credit: Tristan Wheeler/Manjimup-Bridgetown Times, Tristan Wheeler

Transition Bridgetown’s power forum attracted a crowd of about 90 people on Sunday to discuss the future of Bridgetown’s power supply.

Held at the Bridgetown Town Hall, the two-hour forum saw panellists take questions from the audience about the different kinds of power solutions available, at the off-grid, micro-grid and grid level.

Organiser Geoff Bourgault said the turnout was more than he expected and the forum was a success.

“I think it was a really healthy discussion about all the different pros, cons and scales of micro-grids and the way that they fit into the overall grid,” he said.

“People have been really positive about what they learnt on the day.

“The will is there among the public to move to a more renewable system, people like to pretend that there is a lot more doubt in the community than there is, I believe that actually most people are convinced that we need to do something and we need to do it really soon.”

Warren-Blackwood MLA Terry Redman, one of the panellists at the forum, said he thought there were many exciting changes in the energy space.

“We are seeing renewables coming into the sunshine, literally, and of course some of that is a little disruptive to our grid network, but what comes from that is a whole range of opportunities and opportunities a lot of people haven’t even thought about,” he said.

“If you put together all the solar equipment sitting on people’s roofs, it’s the single biggest generator that we have in Western Australia.”

Other panellists included Tersum Energy managing director Rod Littlejohn, Plico Energy chief executive Brian Innes, WA Local Government Association environmental policy adviser Dr Garry Middle and off-grid systems designer Simon Matthews.

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