Cloud prediction technology, innovative finance models, a program to reduce power bills in indigenous communities and a smart solar and storage program to shave off periods of peak electricity demand are some of the finalists announced today in the 2016 Clean Energy Council Awards.

The winners of the awards will be announced on Wednesday 27 July at the NAB Gala Dinner, as part of the Australian Clean Energy Summit in Sydney.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the diversity of the 2016 finalists reflected the growing maturity of the renewable energy industry.

“Over the last year the industry has begun to grow in confidence again following a return to political bipartisanship on the national Renewable Energy Target. The amount of work required between now and 2020 has attracted a wide variety of businesses to our industry, and each of these brings a new perspective with them that helps our relatively young industry to mature further,” Mr Thornton said.

“The finalists in this year’s Clean Energy Council Awards represent an exciting suite of projects which are setting the standard for excellence across the sector. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to submit an entry to the awards this year. You made the job of the judges very challenging.”   

The Clean Energy Council Awards identify businesses that have embraced the immense potential of clean energy, and who have impressed the judges with either their world-class innovation or their best-in-class engagement with the community.

For the first time this year, the Clean Energy Council will also present an individual with the Outstanding Contribution to Industry Award, which will be announced on the night at the NAB Gala Dinner.

The finalists for the Clean Energy Council Awards are as follows:

Clean Energy Council Innovation Award

Fulcrum 3D for its CloudCAM technology that enables large-scale solar power plants to work in better harmony with the rest of the electricity system by predicting periods when they will be covered by clouds.

RES developed an innovative model to secure debt and equity investors for the Ararat Wind Farm, bringing the project to financial close during a period of uncertainty following the review of the Renewable Energy Target. The wind farm was successful in securing additional support from the ACT Government in the first round of its reverse auction program.

United Energy (UE) worked with Sunverge and Energy Makeovers to install 50 kilowatts of solar and storage on the distribution network to help shave off peak demand and reduce the need for additional poles and wires. UE used a cloud platform to operate individual storage units remotely, intelligently using or storing solar energy throughout the day and employing it to help reduce evening peak periods.    

Clean Energy Council Business Community Engagement Award

ClimateWorks Australia, for the stakeholder engagement of its research on deep decarbonisation by 2050 and how Australia can prosper in a low-carbon world. The organisation met with a wide range of political and business leaders, as well as industry associations.

Goldwind Australia for a series of initiatives at its White Rock Wind Farm in New England which are designed to make the project a valued part of the community. These included a mobile black spot initiative, direct engagement and a program to share the benefits with near neighbours to wind turbines.

The Northern Territory Power and Water Corporation for the Manymak Energy Efficiency Project 2016, which worked with six indigenous communities to help them reduce their energy use and power bills through technology and behaviour change. The project employed 81 Yolngu Energy Efficiency Workers and had a participation rate of 89 per cent.

The Australian Clean Energy Summit 2016 will be held from 27 - 28 July at the Hilton Sydney. Hosted by the Clean Energy Council, the summit will brief delegates on the latest political, financial, business and technology developments impacting the renewable energy sector. Join us for the insights you need to help lead Australia's energy transformation. Tickets to the NAB Gala Dinner are on sale now – visit cleanenergysummit.com.au/register to book your ticket.

Please contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 for more information or to arrange an interview.