MAKE THE SHIFT TO 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY

About our co-operative

Hepburn Energy (formally Hepburn Wind) has been powering change in energy and renewables for over a decade. Starting as Australia’s first community-owned wind farm, we’re now working on being the first hybrid wind, solar and battery co-operative.

 

Highlights

42%

Of the Hepburn Shire’s energy needs provided by local renewables.

100,834 CO2

Have been abated through our generation.

Hepburn Energy is a member owned co-operative and Australia’s first community owned wind farm, now looking to add solar and battery storage.

Formally known as Hepburn Wind, we are located at Leonards Hill, about 100km northwest of Melbourne.

As a co-operative, we have 2009 shareholding members, mostly from the local region and a much wider pool of supporters who engage with our projects and programs. 

Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. Members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others, which underpin our work and approach.

Our co-operative takes action on climate change and advocates for community energy, seeking to reducing local emissions and build community resilience.

Established in 2007 our wind farm is now working towards solar and battery storage, which is why we changed our name in 2021, to reflect our ambition.

Staff

Taryn Lane

Taryn is the General Manager and joined in 2010. Taryn is a Founding Director of RE-Alliance and the Coalition for Community Energy, a Director of the Smart Energy Council and a 2017 Winston Churchill Fellow.

Marie Lakey

Marie is the Project and Communications Officer and joined the team in 2017. She has a background in social science and has worked in consultancies and not-for-profit organisations focused on sustainability and energy projects.

Carlena D’Arma

Carlena is Hepburn Energy’s Community Officer. She has a background in Anthropology, History and International Development and experience in a variety of roles such as ESL Teaching, Education and Project Development, Building Planning and Carpentry.

Board members

Graham White

Graham is a Mechanical Engineer and has worked in the aerospace and energy industries for over 40 years. He has a Bachelor and Masters in Engineering and was the Managing Director of Garrad Hassan for 15 years. During this period he was involved in many projects, including the development of the Energy Park.

David Perry

David is an engineer and scientist having worked across medicine, agriculture and energy. He is CTO and co-founder of BOOMPower, a software company that helps asset managers understand, procure and verify solar and energy efficiency solutions. David holds a PhD in Bioengineering and Neuroscience and a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering.

Paul Houghton

Paul’s key areas of knowledge and experience are in business development, finance and project management. Over the past 15 years, Paul has managed his own accommodation business, developing close links within the local area.

Mark Fogarty

Mark Fogarty has over 20 years of experience in clean energy development, from origination, financing, and regulatory perspectives. He is passionate about clean energy projects working with community and agricultural stakeholders. Mark’s technical skills include legal, governance and financial management.

Linda Hancock

Linda has had a long career working in corporate social responsibility for social and environmental sustainability. She is currently the Chief Investigator of the Australian Research Council Centre for Excellence in Electro Materials Science. Linda has worked on the board of governors of ACOSS and VCOSS.

Justine Tyrell

Justine Watson has been working in public sector executive teams, leading transformational and regulatory change programs. She serves on the board of the More To Life Foundation and is a founding member of the Compassionate Ballarat Steering Group and holds the Australian Public Service Medal for Strategy Leadership.

Stuart Read

Stuart is a lawyer and has advised Boards at Superpartners Pty Ltd and Movember Foundation in roles as Company Secretary or General Counsel. Graduating from Melbourne University with a BA and LLB he has since completed two Graduate diploma’s – in organisational dynamics and corporate governance. Stuart is a Castlemaine resident.

B Corp

Hepburn Energy became a Certified B Corporation in March 2016. As a B Corp, we connect with a network of like-minded organisations that match our values and sustainability priorities.

Hepburn Energy was certified by the non-profit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. We’ve evaluated how our practices impact our employees, our community, the environment, and our customers.

Every year since certification, we have been recognised in B Corps Best for the World™ list, which puts us in the top 5% of B Corps under their Community and/or Environment categories.

To learn more about our certification, check out our B Corp profile.

Social Enterprise Certification by Social Traders

Hepburn Energy became a certified social enterprise in 2019. Social enterprises are businesses that trade to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide people with access to employment and training, or help the environment.

Social Traders certification is the only social enterprise certification in Australia that recognises the diversity of social enterprise forms across ownership structures and models of impact.

Learn more on the Social Traders website.

Community Energy

Community energy is where communities are involved in developing, producing, distributing, selling and buying energy assets and their output.

These projects generate clean energy, abate emissions and build income streams to benefit local people.

The community energy sector has been growing rapidly in Australia. This movement kicked off in Denmark and Germany, where new models of energy generation developed.

Thanks to programs like the Victorian State Government’s Community Power Hubs, communities across Victoria are developing, building and owning new renewables and reshaping our energy future.

A good place to start learning about community energy is through the Coalition for Community Energy (C4CE). C4CE has a detailed Knowledge Hub, with practical tools for developing a local renewable energy project. Articles focus on a range of issues including technical matters, governance, and community engagement.

Learn more on the Knowledge Hub.

History

The co-operative’s origin story starts in 2005 with a proposed development for a large wind farm within the region, which received strong community opposition.

Some sections of the community were disappointed and wondered if a different model would grow support for wind. Inspired by co-operative energy in Denmark and Europe, these locals came together to discuss a community-owned alternative.

A local architect, Per Bernard, formed a steering group and began looking for wind developers that would be interested in a community co-operative model. One developer had identified a site near Daylesford at Leonards Hill and was interested in the project.

An agreement was formed with Future Energy to develop a community-owned wind farm, while the steering group went about engaging community members and building organisational support.

The next few years were a busy period of community engagement, capacity building and fundraising that led to the co-operative’s formation in 2007.

By 2011 over 2000 members, mostly local residents, had become shareholders and owners of Australia’s first co-operative wind farm. Since then, the co-operative has become globally recognised for best practice community engagement in the renewables space.

But uncertainty in the energy market and poor economies of scale has been a challenge for the co-operative. The reduction of the Renewable Energy Target and a lack of Federal energy policy greatly reduced the wind farms’ income.

In response to these challenges, the co-operative has led calls for a state-based Community Energy Target, that would provide community energy projects with the financial certainty they need to deliver.

Not only have we campaigned, we’ve been building resilience into our co-operative DNA, working on projects that help us navigate risk, build income streams and give back to our community and members.

If you would like to find out more about Hepburn Energy (formally Hepburn Wind), we encourage you to read the C4CE article here.

About us

Hepburn Energy is a member owned co-operative and Australia’s first community owned wind farm, now looking to add solar and battery storage.

Formally known as Hepburn Wind, we are located at Leonards Hill, about 100km northwest of Melbourne.

As a co-operative, we have 2009 shareholding members, mostly from the local region and a much wider pool of supporters who engage with our projects and programs. 

Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. Members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others, which underpin our work and approach.

Our co-operative takes action on climate change and advocates for community energy, seeking to reducing local emissions and build community resilience.

Established in 2007 our wind farm is now working towards solar and battery storage, which is why we changed our name in 2021, to reflect our ambition.

Board and Staff

Taryn Lane

Taryn is the General Manager and joined in 2010. Taryn is a Founding Director of RE-Alliance and the Coalition for Community Energy, a Director of the Smart Energy Council and a 2017 Winston Churchill Fellow.

Marie Lakey

Marie is the Project and Communications Officer and joined the team in 2017. She has a background in social science and has worked in consultancies and not-for-profit organisations focused on sustainability and energy projects.

Carlena D’Arma

Carlena is Hepburn Energy’s Community Officer. She has a background in Anthropology, History and International Development and experience in a variety of roles such as ESL Teaching, Education and Project Development, Building Planning and Carpentry.

Board members

Graham White

Graham is a Mechanical Engineer and has worked in the aerospace and energy industries for over 40 years. He has a Bachelor and Masters in Engineering and was the Managing Director of Garrad Hassan for 15 years. During this period he was involved in many projects, including the development of the Energy Park.

David Perry

David is an engineer and scientist having worked across medicine, agriculture and energy. He is CTO and co-founder of BOOMPower, a software company that helps asset managers understand, procure and verify solar and energy efficiency solutions. David holds a PhD in Bioengineering and Neuroscience and a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering.

Paul Houghton

Paul’s key areas of knowledge and experience are in business development, finance and project management. Over the past 15 years, Paul has managed his own accommodation business, developing close links within the local area.

Mark Fogarty

Mark Fogarty has over 20 years of experience in clean energy development, from origination, financing, and regulatory perspectives. He is passionate about clean energy projects working with community and agricultural stakeholders. Mark’s technical skills include legal, governance and financial management.

Linda Hancock

Linda has had a long career working in corporate social responsibility for social and environmental sustainability. She is currently the Chief Investigator of the Australian Research Council Centre for Excellence in Electro Materials Science. Linda has worked on the board of governors of ACOSS and VCOSS.

Justine Tyrell

Justine Watson has been working in public sector executive teams, leading transformational and regulatory change programs. She serves on the board of the More To Life Foundation and is a founding member of the Compassionate Ballarat Steering Group and holds the Australian Public Service Medal for Strategy Leadership.

Stuart Read

Stuart is a lawyer and has advised Boards at Superpartners Pty Ltd and Movember Foundation in roles as Company Secretary or General Counsel. Graduating from Melbourne University with a BA and LLB he has since completed two Graduate diploma’s – in organisational dynamics and corporate governance. Stuart is a Castlemaine resident.

Certifications

B Corp

Hepburn Energy became a Certified B Corporation in March 2016. As a B Corp, we connect with a network of like-minded organisations that match our values and sustainability priorities.

Hepburn Energy was certified by the non-profit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. We’ve evaluated how our practices impact our employees, our community, the environment, and our customers.

Every year since certification, we have been recognised in B Corps Best for the World™ list, which puts us in the top 5% of B Corps under their Community and/or Environment categories.

To learn more about our certification, check out our B Corp profile.

Social Enterprise Certification by Social Traders

Hepburn Energy became a certified social enterprise in 2019. Social enterprises are businesses that trade to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide people with access to employment and training, or help the environment.

Social Traders certification is the only social enterprise certification in Australia that recognises the diversity of social enterprise forms across ownership structures and models of impact.

Learn more on the Social Traders website.

Community Energy

Community energy is where communities are involved in developing, producing, distributing, selling and buying energy assets and their output.

These projects generate clean energy, abate emissions and build income streams to benefit local people.

The community energy sector has been growing rapidly in Australia. This movement kicked off in Denmark and Germany, where new models of energy generation developed.

Thanks to programs like the Victorian State Government’s Community Power Hubs, communities across Victoria are developing, building and owning new renewables and reshaping our energy future.

A good place to start learning about community energy is through the Coalition for Community Energy (C4CE). C4CE has a detailed Knowledge Hub, with practical tools for developing a local renewable energy project. Articles focus on a range of issues including technical matters, governance, and community engagement.

Learn more on the Knowledge Hub.

History

The co-operative’s origin story starts in 2005 with a proposed development for a large wind farm within the region, which received strong community opposition.

Some sections of the community were disappointed and wondered if a different model would grow support for wind. Inspired by co-operative energy in Denmark and Europe, these locals came together to discuss a community-owned alternative.

A local architect, Per Bernard, formed a steering group and began looking for wind developers that would be interested in a community co-operative model. One developer had identified a site near Daylesford at Leonards Hill and was interested in the project.

An agreement was formed with Future Energy to develop a community-owned wind farm, while the steering group went about engaging community members and building organisational support.

The next few years were a busy period of community engagement, capacity building and fundraising that led to the co-operative’s formation in 2007.

By 2011 over 2000 members, mostly local residents, had become shareholders and owners of Australia’s first co-operative wind farm. Since then, the co-operative has become globally recognised for best practice community engagement in the renewables space.

But uncertainty in the energy market and poor economies of scale has been a challenge for the co-operative. The reduction of the Renewable Energy Target and a lack of Federal energy policy greatly reduced the wind farms’ income.

In response to these challenges, the co-operative has led calls for a state-based Community Energy Target, that would provide community energy projects with the financial certainty they need to deliver.

Not only have we campaigned, we’ve been building resilience into our co-operative DNA, working on projects that help us navigate risk, build income streams and give back to our community and members.

If you would like to find out more about Hepburn Energy (formally Hepburn Wind), we encourage you to read the C4CE article here.