Our work covers many disciplines. Here’s a snapshot of some of the projects we’re working on or have completed in the past.
MEFL was contracted in partnership with Enhar to deliver an options report to examine the current energy supply situation to ascertain the key areas of risk and opportunity and then review a range of renewable energy options available to Harrietville. In particular the report examined the energy requirements of the town during critical incidents and considered the best means to ensure continuous supply. The team identified a key focus on business energy (up to half of the town’s electricity use is within 7 local tourism businesses).
One of the most common arguments against renewable energy (particularly solar) is its inability to provide base load generation. “Here Comes the Sun” sought to address this issue by establishing the viability of small communities that could install solar arrays with excess generating capacity and store any excess generation in batteries for use when the community’s solar arrays are not generating enough energy to meet the community’s needs. The project was sponsored by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and delivered by MEFL and GreenSync.
The final report has been approved recently and will appear on the ARENA website soon. We will link to it when it does.
As a way to mitigate the Urban Heat Island Effect, MEFL in a partnership with Moreland City Council is working on a project named Cooling Communities. This project is funded through the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and will work in areas of social housing in Moreland.
Moreland’s suburbs are particularly vulnerable to heat waves due to a lack of green infrastructure and lack of water bodies such as rivers or lagoons. An analysis shows that vulnerability to the UHIE is particularly extreme in areas of social housing. This project aims to create a set of recommendations which will promote UHIE resilience in social housing areas, for use by local government, social housing providers, and residents across Victoria.
The Coalition for Community Energy (C4CE) released the Guide to Community-Owned Renewable Energy for Victorians in 2015. MEFL contributed to the Guide’s development, along with Embark, Community Power Agency and the Alternative Technology Association.
Developed specifically for the Victorian context, the work was funded by the Victorian Government. It is both a resource for community groups that are considering a renewable energy project and those that are already in the process of establishing a project. The Guide consolidates existing knowledge and resources and provides links to further information and advice. It provides practical pointers on critical commercial, technical, governance and regulatory aspects of renewable energy projects, including a wealth of useful information on identifying an appropriate business model, selecting the most suitable technology and managing a project.
MEFL is working with the City of Kingston on a series of ten workshops for local developers. The project involves a council-sponsored initial sustainability opportunity assessment by MEFL, working directly with the development team.
The workshops, which take between two and three hours, also act as an education opportunity for new environmentally sustainable development (ESD) approaches and technology. The methodology is informed by our experience in the management of the roll-out of Sustainable Design Assessment in the Planning Process (SDAPP) to councils across Victoria and the development of MEFL’s Sustainable Urban Development Framework which incorporates carbon (energy), water, waste, materials and transport considerations. This project has resulted in significant benefit for City of Kingston and developers.