Renewable Newstead



Renewable Newstead

Website Frontpage


Renewable Newstead is a project to supply Newstead with 100 per cent renewable energy, i.e. energy that’s generated from non-fossil fuels. Renewable energy includes wind, sun, biomass (burning wood & waste), underground warmth (geothermal), hydro (moving water) and more.

Most likely we will use sun or solar to start with to generate and supply energy locally. The energy would travel via our existing poles and wires to Newstead houses, businesses and properties.

There are many phases to this project.

This current phase, called Behind the Meter, is working out how we can do this in a way that most benefits the Newstead community. We are creating a plan or model. That plan includes how to fund this for the long term – viably, sustainably, without government grants and so it generates other benefits for our community. The plan will also identify what, if anything, we’d need to install and where.

Our model will:

incorporate community ownership;
be optional for Newstead households & businesses to join;
balance social equity – via fair prices for Newstead residents, especially those vulnerable to rising energy costs – and commercial reality;
keep us grid-connected;
generate extra benefits for our community;
use power generated locally from renewable sources;
demonstrate the power of a community working together

Behind the Meter, in our case, is another way of saying our community would become a collective customer that relies on the energy it generates itself, via solar panels or other renewable sources, before selling the extra back into the grid.

Renewable Newstead is auspiced by Newstead 2021 Inc

Newstead 2021 Inc was formed in 2008 to support the development of a vibrant, informed and sustainable community in our town and surrounds. The group comprises interested members of the local community who actively and collaboratively work towards this goal.

In 2015, Newstead 2021 Inc received $200,000 from the Victorian Government (Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources) to develop a viable, sustainable, long-term model for a small town to generate its own power using renewable sources. Thank you Victoria!

A detailed business case for a commercially viable model is now being developed. Input from households and businesses in and around Newstead is crucial for this stage. That input can be given via our survey or this website or in person or at street stalls and in clubs, groups and organisations. Click here to be alerted to the dates and times for the street stalls and club/group and organisiation on when those opportunities arise.

Primary environmental focus

Renewable Energy

Geographic sphere or activity


Primary location


Known address

Address not known

Website link/s

Founding Year

History of group


Newstead declares enthusiasm at a town summit for being responsible for our community’s power generation and waste and to cut emissions that help warm the globe.

Newstead 2021 Inc partners with the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance and Castlemaine 500 to survey Newstead’s energy use. Alex Hall leads the survey.

Newstead 2021 Inc partners with Central Victorian Solar City to provide free home and business energy assessments. More than 170 home energy assessments are completed. Cash payments are made available to those who invest in making their homes more energy efficient.

Jan 26: Locals meet at Ron & Julia Snep’s Welshmans Reef winery to form an inaugural Renewable Newstead steering committee. Those attending include Geoff Park, Ron Snep, Doug Bell, Mal Fyffe, Garry Peirce, Jayson Burhop, Phil Dessens, Marty Lynzart, Don Culvenor, Dave Stratton, Xanya Mamuya, Sonny Neale, Gary Gibson, Pete & Deb Ferguson and Gen Barlow.
Sept: The Newstead Energy Feasibility Study shows powering Newstead with 100 per cent renewable power is viable and RN agrees to pursue this idea.

RN gathers information and works on strategy

Newstead’s new solar-powered recreation reserve pavilion opens.
Newstead 2021 Inc writes a proposal to develop, document and implement a plan for shifting the town to 100per cent renewable energy and lobbies local and state MPs for support. This phase is called Behind the Meter.
Nov: Labor elected to govern Victoria and commits to funding Behind the Meter.

Feb 19: Victoria’s new Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio visits Newstead to announce $200,000 grant for RN’s Behind the Meter project.

Jan 7: Geoff Park for Newstead 2021 Inc and Alastair McKeown, Chief Financial Officer for Powercor, sign a two-year memorandum of understanding to work together to ensure Newstead benefits from low-cost, reliable, safe power supplies while shifting the town to 100 per cent renewable energy supply with a focus on generating that power locally. The agreement commits the parties to documenting the process for potential replication across comparable communities in Victoria and demonstrates Powercor’s support for community-owned renewable energy and keeping communities grid-connected.

Feb 15: Victoria’s Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio visits Newstead to announce the Newstead 2021Inc /Powercor agreement & to further champion and reiterate the Victorian Government’s support for the project.



Item sets