The process of preparing the Grant Application was itself very helpful for the following reasons:
- It sharpened our clarity as to our rationale for embarking on this time-consuming project,
- It also clarified in broad terms the main steps we need to undertake,
- It provided us with an initial time frame for the project,
- It prompted us to estimate a budget, including how much to allow for in our own time commitment, and how much we might need in financial support from the Owners Corporation,
- Perhaps most importantly, the related conversations with the Council Sustainability Manager gave us our first advice on potential consultant and contractor advisors.
Alex Byrne joined the Working Party as we were working on our Grant Application with his early experience as an Electrical Engineer expanding our collective expertise. We had several Working Party meetings in early June in the course of preparing our application the first draft of which we submitted through the Sustainability Manager for reviewing by the Council’s Carbon Manager and Green Infrastructure Manager as a precursor to receiving a link to do an on-line full application for the Round 2 opening on June 19.
At this time on our behalf Alex began to contact potential consultants and contractors to gain information about likely design and installation costs together with a set of options as to how to undertake the three stages of the project – the options, design and installation. We started with the following questions:
- What microgrid alternatives do we have? In particular, would there be an advantage in the Owners Corporation paying for the installation and then including the electricity costs in each Unit’s quarterly account?
- Would there be any potential economies of scale by expanding the Microgrid to cover other strata communities adjacent to our site?
- What advantages and/or disadvantages might there be in taking a block by block development as opposed to a whole site approach from the start?
- What physical additions would be needed to house the battery storage units?
- What legal implications might there be with regard to entering into contractual arrangements for the installation? Specifically, will there need to a special by-law created?