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A reason beyond gold in searching out the little town of Eldorado (VIC)...

The weekend before Easter long weekend, I had the privilege of going to Eldorado (Victoria) - a quaint little town about an hour from the Albury/Wodonga border. Eldorado was holding the Off-Grid Living Festival!, a festival founded in 2018 which has quickly grown to be one of the most acclaimed sustainability events in Australia. Organisers did a fantastic job to ensure there was a grassroots vibe, combining education and entertainment, with the moral expectation of a clean-up-after-yourselves mentality - it was truly refreshing to go to a festival with no rubbish on the ground!

It was a big weekend for most with two days of camping to give them time to explore the amazing variety of stalls, education, services, food and music that was there. Topics covered was everything from Energy/Technology, Home/Building, Water/Waste, Transport/Recreation, Sustainability/Community, Self-sufficiency, alternative farming.... you get the picture, it covered all bases. My partner and I came away with our cups full and so incredibly inspired for what could be ahead of us when we finally land our own place in the future.

It was brilliant to see some themes that run strong for us at Geni.Energy such as the Electric Vehicles, which people could test drive throughout the day, and Energy/Technology, all the new advances in various technologies and practical ways of powering our households on or off grid.

I was even lucky enough to stick around for a talk by Indigo Power, who were talking about their projects around the NSW/VIC border which included community batteries, solar, and even talk of Virtual Power Plants. It was really special to hear from one of Indigo Power’s project managers about the impacts community batteries can have in places that have or will face natural disaster and run the risk of having a blackout. Creating a sense of ease knowing that despite unexpected times that people face they can have the confidence that their fridge is still running and the lights are still on thanks to the community energy systems implemented.

Unpredictable weather events and disasters are certainly something that will keep happening more frequently in the future. The capricious nature of the last few years especially should be a driving force behind a transition to a community based mentality, where solutions to growing concerns such as energy sources can be found locally and personally. If we would be so ready and willing to help a neighbour in a flood or a community after a fire, there shouldn’t be a question in whether we should form local support systems through initiatives such as community batteries.

Personally, seeing what local communities are capable of at the Off-grid Living Festival, I am totally optimistic with what would could achieve statewide, countrywide, or even, hopefully, worldwide.

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