Plico Community Energy Project

Mike Kilcullen , Chief Operating Officer at Starling Energy, presented the project that won the Energy Innovation of the Year” award in the Australian Institute of Energy, 2019 WA Energy Awards. 

The project was originally launched as the Dunsborough Community Energy Project last year during the pilot phase, but will now be implemented across the whole of WA as the Plico Energy project.

In a highly interactive session, with a very engaged audience, Mike gave an overview of the model, the benefits of signing up, and who would benefit most. In summary the project will:

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Demand Response

Demand Response : Practice and Insights from the Field

2 September 2019

Demand response can be put simply as a technology-enabled economic balancing method for grid based power systems. 

Demand response is used by network operators to reduce the demand for electricity at particular times to help keep the grid stable.  It has particular relevance in renewable energy power systems with intermittent generation and allows the system to cope with supply fluctuations without increasing the need for investment in more costly capacity.

At this panel presentation, we gained insights from 3 different perspectives: one from a retailer, Amanda Energy, one from the market operator AEMO, and one from a  generator and consumer at the domestic level, Ian Porter. 

Garry Baverstock : Architecture, Solar Design and Climate Change

Monday 10 June.

Architecture Maximizing Solar Design: Big Picture Implications for Addressing Climate Change

A long time advocate for progressing sustainable practices within the building industry and beyond, Garry presented an insight into his journey advocating for change in land development, building design, retrofit and embedding innovation into practice.  

Despite a myriad of initiatives in design support, changes in energy efficiency compliance in development and building licenses as well as exhaustive public education programs going for over 50 years now, to date, little has been achieved.

Despite the general inertia in the industry, Garry put forward a plan, while stressing the urgency, calling for a total systems change of thinking to maximize the potential for Green House Gas savings. Conservation of resources in this sector, with far more targeted scientific and innovative strategies, is needed, to deliver the outcomes. 

That the built environment constitutes the significant part of the GHG emissions footprint, the presentation stressed the reason for prioritising the building industry for restructuring, towards climate sensitive objectives.

Garry Baverstock was awarded the Order of Australia in 2006 for his ground breaking work in eco-architecture and in recognition of his significant contribution to Australian society. 

Further information can be found via Garry's website

Joint Special Event with IEEE

29 April 2019

Transforming the SWIS : Julius Susanto on the new AEMO modelling tools. 

Aware that the WA South West Interconnected System (SWIS) is increasingly accommodating a higher ratio of non-synchronous generators due to rapid and unprecedented uptake of solar PV and other distributed energy resources, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) took the decision to develop their own proprietary in-house modelling tools to identify where shortfalls in system security may lie and the needed system resources to offset system security risks in this area.

Here is the recording of the presentation.

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In Conversation with Jay Weatherill

23 March 2019

Jay Weatherill, ex premier of South Australia joined Sustainable Energy Now, BDO and Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) for a discussion around energy transition, the role of government, challenges WA faces and the deal with Tesla. 

Jay provided some interesting insights to the series of circumstances that led to the lights going out in South Australia,  and gave a candid account of the "story" that was told in the media. He reflected that the move to renewable energy is inexorable and unstoppable, and being driven outside government by entities such as industry super funds. 

Jay pointed out that there are some advantages to the transition process in Western Australia, such as the fact that WA has ownership of some of the critical generation assets and the network, and that this state has a gas reservation policy. He also flagged some possibilities for the WA market, going forward. 

There was much to take away from the conversation.

Jay's presentation:


the QandA that followed:

Kimberley Clean Energy Roadmap

18 March 2019

Dr Rob Phillips presented the findings of The Kimberley Clean Energy Roadmap, commissioned by The Wilderness Society (WA), Environs Kimberley and the Lock the Gate Alliance. The study modelled and mapped a comprehensive, fully-costed Renewable Energy (RE) roadmap for the Kimberley.

Dr Phillips described the project and demonstrated that RE can provide a cleaner and cheaper energy future across the West Kimberley while providing much needed long term jobs. The presentation also discussed implementation and employment issues, demonstrating how a roll-out of RE across the Kimberley could result in 184 direct long term jobs for the Kimberley region and State of WA, including local indigenous employment opportunities. A link to the PowerPoint presentation is available here link.

A copy of the full report the Kimberley Clean Energy Roadmap is available here Report. A hard copy is available at the SEN Presents which are held every 6 weeks, as advertised on our Events Calendar page, or send an email to

Research Insights from the UK Carbon Trust February 2019

Eloise Burnett, Manager Offshore Wind, Programmes and Innovations at the UK Carbon Trust, gave a very insightful presentation. 

The Carbon Trust is helping the move towards a sustainable, low carbon economy by innovating and developing the offshore wind renewable energy industry, and has. The Trust has been at the forefront of the offshore wind industry for the past decade, working closely with government, developers, supply chain, and innovators to inform policy, support technology designers, identify opportunities to reduce the cost of energy, and deliver innovation programmes to achieve cost reduction. 

Eloise provided insights on the UK experience and the learnings relevant to Western Australia. 

December 4 Panel and AGM

The final SEN Presents for the year featured  number of key influencers in the Western Australian Energy sector come together for a  lively panel discussion on the topic:

        Western Australian Electricity  Sector:

        Issues, Challenges and the Way Forward.

Our panelists included:

  Mark Paterson       General Manager of Horizon Power's Consumer Energy Division

  Jason Froud           Policy Manager with Synergy

  Seán Mc Goldrick   Exec Manager Asset Management at Western Power

  Cameron Parrotte  Exec General Manager at Australian Energy Market Operator WA

We were very appreciative of the calibre of the discussion, and the frankness of the responses. It was a most valuable and entertaining night. 


SEN Presents -15 October 2018 Richard Harris

Richard Harris of the WA Independent Power Association (WAIPA) provided a highly relevant presentation about the current energy market, and the challenges ahead. He spoke of the need for a Renewable Energy Target, the need for a national approach, and for emissions reduction. 

A copy of his presentation can be obtained by contacting the Events Team


SEN Presents Electric Vehicles holding their own

3 September 2018

The Electric Targa South West Tour was launched in May this year, which was Australia's first dedicated tarmac Electric Vehicle category for Road Registered users. Florian Popp and other local enthusiasts discussed their drive experience on closed, Rally stage roads in the pristine South West Forrests. THhe results were impressive. Following the presentation, we had the opportunity to inspect 2 Tesla EVs, 

A key message of the night is that the advent of electric cars, requires considered and pragmatic technical action by our state government and utilities, and SEN is an important conduit for such like minded industry partners.

Paul Wilkes and The Climate Reality Project

SEN Presents 11 June 

We were very fortunate to have a presentation by eminent scientist Dr Paul Wilkes who is a "Climate Reality Leader" after training by Al Gore in Denver, Colorado. Paul gave a talk with an updated international perspective after participating in The Climate Reality Project. He covered the global issues such as greenhouse gases, temperatures and sea level rise, technical issues, opportunities such as job creation and economic benefits, the role of electric vehicles and provided local and international examples.  

A brief overview of the key learnings from Al Gore 'The Truth in 10' is available at this link. 


SEN Presents 30 April Laurie Corro on Why Microgrids are important

Holding a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, a Master of Engineering Science and a  Graduate Diploma Technology Management (Deakin) Laurie Curro came to speak to our April SEN Presents at short notice. With more than 35 years’ experience working in the Power Transmission and Distribution industry, with particular interest in distribution and power system planning, distribution design, distribution reliability power quality, system operations and maintenance and smart grid planning, Laurie provided some fascinating insights into the work at Horizon Power.

As General Manager Power System Services, Laurie presented a fascinating overview of why Microgrids are important and spoke about 2 innovative projects underway in regional WA:

- The Onslow Distributed Energy resource Project

- Trials in Carnarvon leading up to Onslow. 

Laurie held our attention to the end, and was generous in his responses to audience questions.

A great night!

SEN Presents 19 March Life Cycle Analysis

Andrew D Moore (MSc BAppSc BSc) is a passionate sustainability scientist and founder of Life Cycle Logic. Andrew uses carbon footprinting and life cycle assessment (LCA) as some of the tools to see the big picture of where we are and where we are headed to get us on the path to a more sustainable future.

Andrew has experience across a wide range of industries including agriculture, building and construction, mining, tourism, energy, renewables and the startup sector. Andrew presented insights into some fascinating and sometimes unexpected outcomes of what happens when a thorough and comprehensive analysis of all the contributors to the lifecycle of a product, are considered. Andrew’s findings present a perspective based on consideration of all available measures of energy inputs.

Andrew is indeed an inspiring and engaging speaker.

Here is a link to his website . Andrew will soon be adding video of his presentation.

SEN Presents 5 Feb Power Ledger

James Eggleston of Power Ledger 

James Eggleston spoke about P2P trading. This class of Platform Application gives retailers the ability to empower consumers (or in an unregulated environment, the consumers themselves) to simply trade electricity with one another and receive payment in real-time from an automated reconciliation and settlement system. He also spoke of the many other benefits such as being able to select a clean energy source, trade with neighbours, receive more money for excess power, benefit from transparency of trades on a blockchain and very low-cost settlement costs all leading to lower power bills and improved returns for investments in distributed renewables.

See below a link to James' presentation from the event.


SEN Presents - December 2017 – Vanadium Flow Batteries

Vincent Algar is Managing Director of Australian Vanadium Ltd and its subsidiary VSUN Energy Pty Ltd. VSUN Energy's main objective is to advance the understanding and adoption of vanadium energy storage. During Vincent's time with the company he has become a global expert on vanadium in energy storage and has a wealth of knowledge about the energy market and vanadium's uses within it.

Vincent’s presentation focused on the technical performance of vanadium flow batteries, the differences between vanadium and lithium in energy storage and the particular scenarios that the technology is best suited to.  Included was an overview of the largest battery in the world, which is currently under construction in China, and case studies of installed systems in Australia and around the world.

SEN Presents – October 2017 – disruptive nature of electric vehicles

Guest speaker was Leo Kerr who is vice president of Trillion Trees (formerly Men of the Trees WA) and has been involved in the not for profit sector for almost 30 years. In 2008 he had a Mitsubishi Mirage converted to electric and in 2009 established the community information website

Leo gave a fascinating and comprehensive overview on the disruptive nature of Electric Vehicles and the transformation of the global fleet. He spoke of reasons for change, EVs in Australia and the impact that electrification and autonomous technology will bring about in our immediate to near future.

SEN Presents – September 2017 – Numen Energy Enlightenment

Russell Wilson, Director Catalyst and, Co-Founder and Director of Ecocentric Energy.

Ecocentric have partnered with CSIRO and developed Numen, which is a Latin word for the spirit, or energy that lives in a place or object.

High Quality Energy Data, is proving to be of increasing value to everyone. Using a combination of cutting-edge hardware, data smarts, and beautiful user-centric interfaces, Numen is helping businesses understand where their energy is being used, conserved and wasted. Numen learns the energy usage patterns of a business, to predict faults for pre-emptive maintenance and efficiency. The entire equipment portfolio is connected with other data sets, like weather and Building Management Systems.

With Numen it is possible to see  energy usage at the building level, or drill right down for detailed data and insights into the operation of each and every business device in real-time, anywhere in the world. Numen’s detailed energy data highlights inefficiencies and helps streamline business to save money and ultimately reduce  carbon footprint. 


SEN Presents – July 2017 -competitive and environmentally friendly renewable technologies

Antony Piccinini has been a part of the utility scale renewable energy industry for the past 17 years.  During this time, he has helped develop multiple wind, wind /diesel, solar and bioenergy projects, operating across WA, interstate and overseas markets. 

Antony is the CEO of Renergi (, a WA based bioenergy technology company, which is developing a suite of technologies spun out of Curtin University.  These technologies encompass biomass pyrolysis, gasification and refining.  Antony  outlined how these technologies resolve the current impediments to utilising our significant biomass resources for utility scale power generation to help deliver a sustainable future more broadly.

SEN Presents - June 2017 - the rise and rise of battery storage

Senec Australia's MD, Ian Parkinson, has a long-term vision that sees households, businesses and whole communities empowered to take back energy control from the corporate petrochem companies.  Ian is determined to make Senec a key part of the energy market in Australia and New Zealand.

In his presentation, Ian said that most homes won't be able to get completely off the grid mostly due to our excessively high consumption of power.  A 10kw battery system is around $16,500 installed and prices are unlikely to come down any time soon because demand outstrips supply.  This is not only because of the demand from the housing industry but extremely high demand from the world-wide auto industry.  An example is that Norway will soon be a 100% electric vehicle country. 

Ian also brought an actual battery for us to view. Even though the price is currently high, demand is strong.

SEN Presents - May 2017 - a celebration of Volunteer involvement

SEN is a 100% volunteer-run organisation.  Thanks to a grant from Volunteering WA (and Lotterywest) we celebrated National Volunteer Week with a special party with lots of nice food and a presentation of gift baskets to volunteers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty working with Politicians to provide information about Renewable Energy Policy, advancing the technical capabilities (through SIREN - see, and general assistance progressing the adoption of renewable energy in WA.

The various Team Leaders gave an update of the extensive work they have been doing and expect to do during the coming year.