Power to the people at forum

Tristan WheelerManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Transition Bridgetown's Geoff Bourgault is organising the forum.
Camera IconTransition Bridgetown's Geoff Bourgault is organising the forum. Credit: Manjimup-Bridgetown Times

Transition Bridgetown is envisaging an ambitious renewable future for Bridgetown’s power supply, starting with a community forum this Sunday.

Organised by Transition Bridgetown steering committee member Geoff Bourgault, the forum will discuss ways of integrating renewable energy into Bridgetown’s power grid and give the audience a chance to listen to guest speakers and ask questions.

Guest speakers will include Warren-Blackwood MLA Terry Redman — who chaired the State Government’s review of microgrids — as well as representatives of renewable energy companies Tersum Energy and Plico Energy, WA Local Government Association environmental policy adviser Dr Garry Middle and off-grid systems designer Simon Matthews.

Mr Bourgault said the South West grid was in need of transformation because it was not equipped to deal with the renewable energy being put into it.

“Solar power is going in during the day, obviously not at night, so you have these peaks of energy generation which don’t correspond to the peaks of energy usage, which are usually in the morning and the afternoon,” he said.

“A system which has been built to function on fossil fuels that generate power around the clock and don’t necessarily ramp up and down in their production very quickly is finding it very difficult to cope with the excess of power during the day and trying to keep the power alive at night.

“As a result there is a lot of wastage in the system and a huge amount of work goes into the energy market to try and iron out those issues at the moment.”

The forum is at Bridgetown’s Town Hall and will run between 1pm and 3pm.

RSVPs are necessary and can be made by emailing transitionbridgetown19@gmail.com or by texting 0432 105 754.

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