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Clean energy award winners showcase leading talent and commitment to industry

The Clean Energy Council was proud to announce the winners of the 2019 Clean Energy Council Awards last night at the NAB Gala Dinner as part of the Australian Clean Energy Summit in Sydney.

The winners celebrate business leaders in the areas of innovation, community engagement, and marketing and communication. In addition, the Outstanding Contribution to Industry Award gives special recognition to an individual’s contribution over many years to the renewables sector.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the winning projects from Networks Renewed, Mondo and Vicinity Centres all address specific needs in the industry and through varying strategies and plans work towards solving them.

“Networks Renewed took out the Innovation Award for its outstanding project which gave foundation to the possibility that customer-owned solar PV and battery storage could provide voltage regulation services on the distribution network,” he said.

“Mondo developed a mini-grid in the small town of Yackandandah in Victoria allowing the community to receive 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2022. With the project already saving the town $160,000 in energy costs, the business was awarded the Community Engagement award,” Mr Thornton said.

“The inaugural Marketing and Communications award was won by Vicinity Centres for a communications campaign to promote their Integrated Energy Strategy to multiple stakeholders. The campaign achieved a reach of more than 1.8 million and has set the bar high for future finalists in this award,” he said.

“In addition, it is a pleasure to have awarded Simon Corbell the Outstanding Contribution to Industry Award for his years of service in the industry.

“Simon introduced Australia’s first reverse auction program for renewables while he was Deputy Chief Minister of the ACT, a highly innovative program that came during a very challenging time for the industry. He also led the territory’s push towards Australia’s most ambitious renewable energy target - 100 per cent by 2020. He has never wavered on the importance of addressing climate change, and he has found ways to deliver where others have struggled. It is my absolute honour and privilege to present Simon with this award for his remarkable efforts,” Mr Thornton said.

The winners of the 2019 Clean Energy Council Awards are as follows:

Innovation Award

Networks Renewed, a partnership between AusNet Services, Essential Energy and the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University Technology Sydney, won the Innovation Award for its trial project demonstrating that customer-owned solar PV and battery storage systems can provide voltage regulation services on the distribution network. The trial proved that voltage can be suppressed during high solar export periods by controlling reactive power capabilities of residential smart inverters. This solution has enabled increased solar hosting capacity on the network and allowed our customers to generate more solar energy.

Community Engagement Award

Mondo won the Community Engagement Award for its work with community energy group Totally Renewable Yackandandah to develop a mini-grid project in the small Victorian town of Yackandandah that would enable it to get 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2022. By early 2019, the mini-grid had generated 1 GWh of locally produced renewable energy, saving the community more than $160,000 in energy costs and 1112 metric tonnes of CO2-e.

Marketing and Communications Award

Vicinity Centres won the Marketing and Communications Award for the implementation of a communications campaign to promote its Integrated Energy Strategy to a diverse set of stakeholders and put renewable energy at the heart of its communities. The campaign utilised assets within Vicinity’s 60+ shopping centres as well as garnering national and local media coverage, reaching an audience of more than 1.8 million people.

Outstanding Contribution to Industry Award

The Clean Energy Council has awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Industry Award to Simon Corbell for his years of tireless work for the industry.

As the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for the Environment in the ACT, Simon advocacy for a strong climate change policy for Canberra saw the ACT achieve national and international recognition as a best-practice jurisdiction, on track for 100 per cent renewable energy by 2020. After leaving politics, Simon then served as the Victorian Renewable Energy Advocate from 2008-2016.

The 2019 Clean Energy Council Awards were presented at the NAB Gala Dinner at the 2019 Australian Clean Energy Summit on 30 July at ICC Sydney. More information and photos of this year's award winners can be found on the Clean Energy Summit website.