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Welcome to the website of the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust (BRCT).

UPDATE - Our Manager Scott Willis is taking a well earned break. He will be away from July 9th to August 2nd. Kat will be in the office if you have any enquiries.

Our company, Blueskin Energy Limited, is working on establishing the proposed Blueskin Wind Farm.   BRCT is an IRD approved charitable trust formed in 2008 out of the need to support local sustainability and climate change initiatives in a planned and structured way.  In 2009 BRCT partnered with social enterprise incubator the "Akina Foundation" to progress our flagship project, the Blueskin Wind Cluster Project (see "About Us" to find out more about our story). We are also busy with a wide variety of projects, eventsreports, publications, submissions and building an improved Home Performance Advice (HPA) service.  Check out our 2016 projects below and our 2015 success stories at the bottom of this page. 

Amp HeadElectricity: powering the "energy internet"?

Electricity is the flow of moving electrons, or energy from charged particles. The stuff is very useful. It powers cars like this Tesla for example.

The journey to a 100% renewable global energy systems is largely an electric journey, and we'd like it to be as fast a journey as can be made, just like driving the Tesla Roadster! There are three steps to it:

  1. Reduce energy use (so we can meet needs more easily - this is what most of our services help with)
  2. Increase use of renewable energy (and reduce greenhouse gas emissions - we consistently advocate for this)
  3. Increase the supply of renewable energy (so we can meet demand - thus our work on building the Blueskin wind farm).
We are pleased to see that the Electricity Authority is working on assessing evolving technologies and business models. New ways of thinking and new regulations are necessary to build an interactive cooperative grid, with community and households as generators, not mere passive consumers of electricity. This grid will use the internet to manage transactions and enable far wider and more dynamic participation. But to get there, we need to do the work, not just leave it up to others. So that's what the Trust is about: creating local climate solutions together, and making things happen! You can find us on Facebook and Twitter : we like social media! Email us at office@brct.org.nz or call us on 4822048 - we love to hear from you.

 

Current Project News in 2016 - May/June

Blueskin Wind Development

BEL GeoTech dig

The result of our Resource Consent application is expected soon. Many expert assessments have been prepared for the hearing and this is the culmination of 7 years of work and a great deal of community investment in time, money and expertise. We’ve looked at questions of land stability for example and have greatly appreciated expert analyses from Geologists Mark Walrond from GeoSolve and Dr Virginia Toy from the University of Otago. While geology is not strictly a consenting issue, its been fascinating to take a look at the site in ‘deep’ detail and understand the soil structure. This is all part of a long and rewarding journey that has involved exhaustive work covering all aspects of the local environment, not only soil.

A number of concerns were raised through the Resource Consent process. The project has been modified and improved year on year after reviews of community feedback, and expert assessments have been completed to investigate environmental concerns. All of that led to the proposal being judged solid and was submitted for a Resource Consent. The next stage of development can only begin if consent is granted. If it is, and we clear all the other hurdles in front of us, we’re confident that it will fulfill our objective of returning a million dollars to Blueskin communities in each decade of operation.

 Building energy infrastructure is challenging, and takes time. Gone are the days when a politician could decide on a new hydro dam, have the state acquire the land, and then build it. Now, fortunately, a case has to be made to  to ensure the sustainable management of natural and physical resources. We are fully confident a wind farm at Blueskin Bay meets this criteria. It has attracted debate and criticism, just like every other development in Blueskin Bay (such as building a new library or establishing the Ecosanctuary). We believe that here in Blueskin we have the ability to initiate a paradigm change in the electricity sector by demonstrating that community energy in New Zealand is possible and that we can create climate solutions together. Check out our Blueskin Energy website, or follow us on twitter @BlueskinPower or on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blueskin-Resilient-Communities-Trust/180367402010248) and you can call 03 4822249 or call in to visit and find out more about any of our work.

To get in touch, visit the Blueskin Energy Ltd website or pop into the office at 1121 Mt Cargill Rd, Waitati. We can be contacted by telephone on 4822048.

 

Climate Safe House projectFrom the office

We've initiated preliminary work on the ‪#‎ClimateSafeHouse‬ project in a recent workshop with representatives from Otago Polytechnic, Cosy Homes, Dunedin City Council and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority all participating.

What's it all about? Community, Collaboration and Climate Solutions is the short answer. The long answer is that climate change is real and coastlines are changing. In June 2015, flooding wreaked havoc in South Dunedin. The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment anticipates that sea-levels may be 50 centimetres higher by 2050. The Second Generation District Plan for Dunedin has already designated new high hazard zones. Meanwhile many Dunedin homes lack rudimentary heating or insulation and fuel poverty is rife in our city. What do we do for those people who live in cold, unhealthy, dilapidated homes at increasing risk of flooding or inundation? How do we maintain community in a changing climate and reduce poor health outcomes? We're looking at establishing a relocatable home example that will retain community connectivity and provide a model of how we can manage our housing issues and adapt.

This is a project seeking a Dunedin solution to a local issue with national implications. Meanwhile we are continuing with the Home Performance Assessment service and have launched a new HPA website, where you can find out more about the service, who's involved, partners, etc. We are getting close to the sum required to replace an old PC, thanks to generous community donations and a $350 donation from the Waikouaiti Coast Community Board. To make a donation to assist our work (and help us get that computer) you can do so in the following ways: Email BRCT at office@brct.org.nz, or Donate using internet banking via the website. Donations are tax deductible so please make sure we have your name and address.

 

 Blueskin and Karitane Food System Report
Food blog for Cuppa tea 2.doc2The Report is now available to read and download from Resources. Alongside this in-depth report, look out for the latest stimulating Cuppa Tea article by Dr Hugh Campbell (High time for a Plan B in New Zealand agriculture?) - can our local food initiatives "trivial or small-scale and hopelessly marginalized from the national policy conversation" become a force for change "in a world where Plan A has failed"?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Successes in 2015

Survey for Wind Dev on Porteous3Blueskin Wind Farm Resource Consent application lodged
The Blueskin Wind Project has achieved a significant milestone in 2015 - lodging our Resource Consent application with the DCC after (what was then) six years of hard work. It is supported by excellent science and expert appraisals and the journey since the idea was first proposed ten years ago has been rich and rewarding. It was a significant step, and something that was only possible with extensive local support and pro bono assistance from around the country. Our BEL website has information about the project.

The proposal is for a small-scale energy development on Porteous Hill comprising three turbines on a 24ha title with access Porteous Road and the Kilmog. The turbines will measure about 90 metres to the blade tip, including a 60 metre tower. The wind farm will generate over 7 Gigawatt hours per year - enough power to supply all of the Blueskin community’s annual electricity needs, and more.

This idea came from a community workshop in 2006 that led to the  big vision of the Blueskin area becoming a truly sustainable, resilient community. The aim of the Blueskin Wind project is to generate income that can be directed into the things that matter to us while producing clean local electricity.

 

 

Our Details

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Contact us:
contact usBy email: office@brct.org.nz, by phone: 03 4822 048, by snail mail: BRCT, 31 Hill Street, RD2, Waitati, 9085, or come visit us in our offices at the old dental surgery, at Waitati School.

 

 

 Donate to us:
our supporters3We currently rely on donations and grants to provide services to the community, as we work to build a social business

Donations are essential to help us continue with our work and are tax-deductable.  Our account is: 389008 0472900 00

See our donate page for details on how else you can donate. 

We have many people and businesses to thank for supporting BRCT so far (see our supporters page).