• Sally

Reflections on Our First Birthday!

On 28th September, it will be 12 months since Geni.Energy opened its shopfront doors in Narrabri. Like all births, there was plenty of lead up – we had spent about 18 months prior, planning for the new baby.

And like all new babies, the first year has been a rollercoaster of emotions; exhausting, with a massive learning curve and glimmers of joy and achievement that make it all worthwhile!


Trying to envision a new future, in an industry that is constantly and rapidly changing and in a region that is traditionally underserviced, with almost non-existent resources, using technologies still being developed and with people still grappling with the urgency of the climate situation, has been hugely challenging!


Our vision is to create new jobs and investment from renewable energy. We want to help the northwest NSW region with the inevitable transition away from a reliance on coal and gas to remain prosperous and with plenty of opportunities for future generations. Most importantly, we want to ensure that the knowledge, capacity and benefits gained from this transition remain local and are not shipped off to the coast, cities or overseas.

To do that means we simply must get involved, pull our seat up to the table, ask the silly questions and find help and support. We must also have in mind what our future vision is.


Timing is everything and Australia is experiencing sustained and significant growth in renewables across the National Electricity Market, to a point where there are now more renewables servicing the grid than natural gas and brown coal. Renewables (in the green line in the graph below) is the only fuel type actually on the rise!


https://reneweconomy.com.au/solar-overtakes-wind-as-the-new-queen-of-australian-renewables-in-2020-2/


The plan for our social enterprise at Geni.Energy from the beginning was to sell solar and battery systems to households, farms and businesses, including a little piece of magic called an Energy Management System (EMS). These sales would give us locally-based knowledge and credibility in the industry as well as some cash-flow to allow us to achieve our bigger picture goals of transitioning the region.


We could not have made it this far without some incredible support from our board members; Michael Bange, Therese Cochrane, Melissa Tym and Rohan Boehm (pictured here at a rare face-to-face board meeting in April), my family, our customers, our Geni.Mates and our volunteers – Thank you!

In our first year of operation, in cooperation with our partners Dawso Electrical, Enopte and Planet Ark Power, we have installed a total of 16 systems across the region, totalling 319kW of solar and 115.2kWh of battery storage for homes, businesses and community organisations.


Some of these projects were hugely satisfying, such as helping Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service adorn three of their buildings with 143kW of rooftop solar. The annual savings they will make, will employ a new nurse, plus massively reduce their carbon emissions!