During 2016 news about the rapid progress in the capacity of solar rooftop collectors with battery storage systems to reduce electricity costs persuaded Neil Watson to suggest to the Strata Committee of Blackwattle Mews Strata in Glebe that it might be worth investigating the possibility of installing a Microgrid in the townhouse complex of 18 units. The Committee endorsed this initiative at their November meeting that year.
Neil then wrote to all the residents in January 2017 to raise the idea and seek both in principle support and practical support from those prepared to join a Working Party to investigate the feasibility of the project. His neighbours, Luci Kafka and Paul White, agreed to make up the Working Party. In preparing for its first meeting, Neil contacted the Sydney City Council which covers Glebe to find out whether the Council provides any assistance with such investigations.
Jonathon Boys, the Council’s Sustainability Programs Coordinator responded and informed us that there was indeed assistance in the form of Innovation Grants of two kinds – an initial Feasibility Study Grant and then Demonstration Implementation Grants (see Appendix 1 for details). So, the first two meetings of the Working Party began to get to grips with the investigation task with the possibility of gaining financial support for a Feasibility Study.