It was a night with a twist in the 2017 Clean Energy Council Awards, as several projects tied for first place in the Innovation category at the NAB Gala Dinner at the Australian Clean Energy Summit in Sydney.

Horizon Power shared the Clean Energy Council Innovation Award with a community mini-grid project delivered by AusNet Services with Greensync and Power Tec.

The Climate Council won the Community Engagement Award for its work responding to the state-wide blackout in South Australia in September 2016, while the Outstanding Contribution to Industry Award was given to former Clean Energy Regulator head Chloe Munro, who also worked on the recent review of Australia’s energy security with Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said innovation across the renewable energy sector was the norm rather than the exception, and had helped to rapidly reduce the costs of generating power and improve efficiency.

“There are so many transformative projects and technologies happening in energy across the country, and a huge number of talented and passionate people constantly delivering improvements in the way Australia uses and delivers energy. It is always a great honour to congratulate the best of the best at these awards,” Mr Thornton said.

“The awards show the depth of what is happening across the industry, including the engagement work being done by groups such as the Climate Council. I have worked with Chloe Munro over many years and am very pleased to recognise her powerful contribution. Her leadership helped build a first-class regulatory body and supported the growing maturity of this industry - and we are all the richer for it.

“I would like to offer sincere thanks to all of those who submitted an entry for this year’s awards for your tireless work across the industry.”

The winners of the 2017 Clean Energy Council Awards are as follows:

The Outstanding Contribution to Industry Award was presented to Chloe Munroe for her sustained leadership in the clean energy industry.

The Clean Energy Council Innovation Award was shared by two projects:

Horizon Power designed a new way of billing for electricity similar to mobile phone plans to increase understanding and engagement from customers. Users can track their energy use with an app that helps them to save money by staying under a set energy allowance each hour.

AusNet Services worked with Greensync and PowerTec to establish a Community Mini Grid in a street in Mooroolbark, Victoria. Homes in the project could share energy between themselves and the project investigated the operation of a stand-alone mini grid within the broader energy network using 100 per cent renewable energy, which also led to substantial customer savings.

The Clean Energy Council Business Community Engagement Award was presented to The Climate Council, which developed a strategy to combat the misinformation surrounding the role of renewable energy in the September 2016 state-wide blackout in South Australia. It used written and video communication, social media, journalist backgrounding and stakeholder briefings to help combat public misinformation.

The 2017 Australian Clean Energy Summit was held from 18 - 19 July at the Hilton Sydney. Hosted by the Clean Energy Council, the sold-out event drew more than 600 delegates from more than 200 organisations. The program features more than 80 speakers from government, industry and academia discussing the latest market trends, innovation, policy, finance, business and technology developments in the clean energy sector. More information is available at cleanenergysummit.com.au/register.

Please contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 or email mbretherton@cleanenergycouncil.org.au for more information or to organise an interview.