As noted above, we learnt earlier that our request for a Demonstration Grant of $80K was not granted but the recommendation going to Council was for $25K. Applicants are advised that the Council, sitting as a Committee, is prepared to listen to submissions from Grant Applicants so Alex and Neil decided to take up this opportunity even though the submission time is limited to three minutes. As it turned out we were the only applicant under the Environmental Programs category to attend and speak for our bid.
Alex spoke to the following points:
- This is an important initiative that will potentially open up the three quarters of City of Sydney dwellings in Strata schemes to renewable energy installations, a development that has been blocked to date.
- We have travelled a long and complex journey which has been thoroughly documented to inform others. Our innovation is to demonstrate a roadmap for other Strata schemes that has not existed previously.
- Being the first to retrofit solar and an embedded network in a Strata scheme has proved to be challenging and involved a big time and cost commitment.
- The proposed $25,000 is not enough. We really need the $80,000 we budgeted but, if that is not available, we could deliver a staged project with a grant of $50,000.
After he finished the Lord Mayor asked one of the officers to comment and he reinforced Alex’s point regarding the difficulty involved in getting Microgrid approval and that this was an important initiative. The Chair then informed us that they would seek further information and re-consider the decision at the Council meeting next week. We thought that this was as good an outcome as we could have hoped for and that it was worth the trouble of attending and waiting nearly two hours.