Starting to move on Quotes

Two weeks later the team met again. Although we had still not received the Contract from the Council we decided to distribute the Request for Quote document that Alex had prepared (inserted below) to four of the companies that had been recommended to us.  These were WattBlock, Dunne Solar, Green Strata and Smart Commercial Solar.  We left PreSync out because they seemed to be much more focused on Green environments than energy.

The Institute for Sustainable Futures at UTS remained of interest as a potential consultant but we thought that it might be possible to interest them in making our project a research case study.  If they accepted this proposition we could see this enhancing our project product when delivering on our commitment to inform other Strata communities of our learning.  Since Alex knows the Director of the Institute for Sustainable Futures, Professor Stuart White, we left it to him to explore this possibility directly.

During the discussion Luci raised the idea that we should include in our Brief consideration of how to incorporate Electric Vehicle charging capability since this would surely become a reality within the next five years.  We even considered the possibility of designing in a public charging facility on our street boundary.  Luci was also tasked with looking into whether there are other Grant possibilities. He also offered to work on the design of a modest Blackwattle Mews Microgrid website. He went off and registered the name blackwattlemews.sydney straight away.  Neil undertook to provide a new up-date on these planned steps to our Owners.

We set a deadline for submission of quotes by 15th December in the hope that we could decide on the winning tender by mid-January and set a completion target of the 1st March, 2018.  This timeline would enable us to make a submission for a Demonstration Project Grant from the Sydney City Council by mid-March.

Below is a copy of the Request for Quote Document that we will distribute to the potential Microgrid designers.

Progress of Innovation Grant

On the 11th October we were delighted to receive an email from the SCC staff informing us that our application had been approved for submission to the Council meeting on October 23rd.  This date passed and then another two weeks while we comforted ourselves that the Council probably had a big agenda and hadn’t got to the decision that we were waiting for.

Eventually, on the 1st November, we received the letter we were waiting for from the Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, in which she said “I am pleased to let you know the City of Sydney has approved a grant to help you with your project under the City’s Environmental Performance – Innovation Grant 2017-18 Round Two program.  Cash Support amount $20,000.”  She went on to say: “To receive your grant, you will need to enter into a standard contract with the City. During this process, the City may ask for further information about your project and you may be able to negotiate changes to the project. We cannot release funding until your contract has been finalised.”

We met before the end of that week to plan our next steps.  At that meeting Alex tabled a very useful 3-page outline of the four models we need to have evaluated when we commission consultant advice. This will focus on advantages and disadvantages of four models:

Model One – Separate solar installation for each participating Unit,

Model Two – Separate solar installation for each Block,

Model Three – Solar installation for pairs of Blocks, and

Model Four –  Solar installation for the whole complex.

We agreed to seek advice regarding potential consultants from Bjorn Sturmberg before meeting with Nik Midlam from the Council’s Sustainability Team in order to sign our Contract with the Council. We also decided to once again seek data about current electricity usage from Unit Owners and to distribute an information update to owners and residents.