The Doomadgee Solar Farm in far north-west Queensland and the community engagement process for the Boco Rock Wind Farm in New South Wales were the winners of this year’s Clean Energy Council Industry Awards, beating strong competition to outshine their rivals.

The awards, presented at the GE Australia Gala Dinner at Clean Energy Week in Sydney, showcase stand-out projects in two categories – Innovation and Community Engagement.

Acting Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said all the 2014 entries to the awards reflected the passion of the industry to constantly innovate and improve. 

“The Doomadgee Solar Farm, for example, combined more than 1000 solar panels with an existing diesel power plant in a town located off the power grid, helping the remote community save more than 100,000 litres of diesel every year,” Mr Thornton said.

“Ergon Energy and its project partners are to be congratulated for an excellent project that will enable Ergon and others to more easily replicate the model at other locations in the future”.

Mr Thornton said the hard work by staff at CWP Renewables at the Boco Rock Wind Farm made the company a deserving winner of the Community Engagement Award.

“It’s official – Boco rocks. Building a wind farm is challenging, and it is essential that wind power companies take local communities with them on the journey. If you don’t spend time keeping people informed and dealing with them in good faith, you can’t expect them to support your wind farm,” he said.

“The Clean Energy Council developed best practice community engagement guidelines last year to help lift the bar across the industry and ensure that wind farms were built with the support of local residents. The judges found that CWP Renewables had followed industry-leading best practice when engaging with the local community living and working near the Boco Rock Wind Farm.

“All entrants this year are worthy of high praise, whether we are talking about ZEN Energy’s locally-developed energy storage unit for solar power systems, Infigen Energy’s Run With the Wind event at its Woodlawn Wind Farm, or the Solar Wikipedia developed by LG Electronics.”

The Clean Energy Council Innovation Award was judged by Dr Alex Wonhas, Group Executive for Energy at the CSIRO, and John O’Brien, founder and Managing Director of Australian CleanTech and Sino CleanTech.

The Clean Energy Council Community Engagement Award was judged by Mark Squires, who leads the Regional Clean Energy Program for the NSW Government, and Taryn Lane, Communications and Community Liaison Officer with Embark Australia – a not-for-profit organisation supporting the development of low-carbon community energy projects. 

Clean Energy Council Community Engagement Award 

Winner: CWP Renewables, for its efforts with the community in the development of the Boco Rock Wind Farm in New South Wales

Finalist: Infigen Energy, for increasing community awareness through the Run with the Wind 2013 fun run around the Woodlawn Wind Farm in New South Wales

Finalist: LG Electronics Australia, for developing a ‘Solar Wikipedia’ for Australian customers

Clean Energy Council Innovation Award

Winner: Ergon Energy, for the Doomadgee Solar Farm, an off-grid solar-diesel hybrid project in Queensland.

Finalist: ZEN Energy Systems for the ZEN Freedom Powerbank, a power storage solution that can be used in conjunction with a solar power system in a range of sizes.

Clean Energy Week 2014 is proudly sponsored by Trina Solar and NAB. Held across two venues in Sydney, Clean Energy Week incorporates ATRAA (Australia's largest solar event), a huge trade show, a Policy and Finance Conference, and a professional development day for solar installers.

The program includes prominent local and international experts, politicians, decision-makers and business leaders. The event runs from 22-25 July 2014.

Please contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 for more information or to arrange an interview.