The winners of the 2018 Clean Energy Council Awards shine the spotlight on the innovative and engaging projects which are putting regional Australia at the forefront of a technology revolution, along with a pioneer of the solar industry.

The award winners were announced at the NAB Gala Dinner last night, as part of the Australian Clean Energy Summit in Sydney. The awards honour excellence in the fields of innovation and business community engagement in the clean energy sector, as well as providing special recognition to an individual for their contribution over many years.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the projects by Energy Queensland and TasNetworks had both been able to deliver clean energy solutions to regional Australians living a long way from the central business district of a major city.

“Energy Queensland was the winner of the Innovation Award for delivering solar and storage to public housing tenants in one of the state’s remote communities at Lockhart River. The money saved from transporting very expensive diesel to the area is being invested back into the community,” Mr Thornton said.

“And TasNetworks gave us a glimpse of the future by partnering with ARENA and the Australian National University to turn 40 homes into their own mini power stations using renewable, storage and intelligent control systems. The project is a deserving winner of the Business Community Engagement Award for the way it was able to involve locals.

“I am also very pleased to honour Nigel Morris with the Outstanding Contribution to Industry Award. Many people in the solar industry know Nigel as a fearless and passionate champion of clean energy. He is incredibly deserving of this recognition tonight.

“I am pleased that this year’s awards highlight the many incredible projects that are happening in regional parts of Australia at the moment.”

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

Clean Energy Council Innovation Award

Energy Queensland was able to bring together a diverse group of government departments to deliver affordable access to renewable energy for public housing tenants in one of the state’s least accessible communities. Residents of Lockhart River previously depended heavily on diesel power, and the project delivered solar and storage with intelligent control systems. The money saved from reducing diesel use is being returned to the community.

Clean Energy Council Business Community Engagement Award

TasNetworks worked with the Australian National University and ARENA to turn 40 homes on Tasmania’s Bruny Island into “mini power stations”. The project involved installing rooftop solar and batteries, along with energy management software from Reposit Power that allows households to actively trade the energy they produce and store with their electricity provider. The project will help reduce diesel use and the island’s dependence on the cable connecting it with Tasmania.

Outstanding Contribution to Industry Award winner – Nigel Morris

The Clean Energy Council has awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Industry Award to Nigel Morris, a pioneer of the Australian solar industry through his work at Rainbow Power Company, BP Solar, RoofJuice and Solar Analytics.

Nigel is a determined advocate for solar power and has been a champion of quality and integrity throughout his 25-year career in the solar industry. He serves as a mentor to many, is a blogger and podcaster and was a driver behind the establishment of the CEC's Solar Retailer Code of Conduct.

The 2018 Australian Clean Energy Summit finishes today at ICC Sydney. Hosted by the Clean Energy Council, the summit draws more than 700 delegates from hundreds of 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.

The full list of award finalists can be found on the Australian Clean Energy Summit website.