TREK (Towards Renewable Energy Kiewa) is a non-profit organisation auspiced under the Upper Kiewa Valley Community Association.
The UKVCA is a lobby and advocacy group which meets to work on community improvement opportunities and issues of local concern.
The UKVCA communicates concerns and suggestions to the Alpine Shire and other appropriate government departments and relevant organisations, working collaboratively to achieve mutually beneficial and appropriate outcomes.
The TREK committee is made up of local residents:
Virginia has had a long-term relationship with North East Victoria, and Mount Beauty has become her happy place. Her strong sense of community and wanting to give back has found the right path. The idea of a guiding a local renewable energy group resonated and has become her passion.
Keith and his wife, Mary, settled in Mount Beauty in 1998, after his retirement from a career as a biology teacher in Victorian schools. Always keen on keeping our part of the planet one he wanted to be able to enjoy, he built a passive solar house, with solar hot water, using the then available CSIRO figures, in 1980, at a rural site in Broadford. In 2009, when the Federal government offered generous assistance to install domestic solar panels, he gathered 33 local residents to join a scheme which made the installation at their houses more affordable. He is currently one of the presenters on the Alpine Radio program “Pale Blue Dot”, which aims at raising awareness of environmental issues.
After 25 years of living in a solar passive, rammed earth, off-grid home run as a country guest house on 60ha, Glenn and partner Kelly downsized to Tawonga South late 2020. He has been visiting and playing in the Upper Kiewa are for many decades. In 2021, the couple installed a 7.7kW solar array, a 9.8kWh DC coupled battery and a hybrid inverter on their home. A recent addition to this system is a solar compatible electric vehicle charger that charges their EV from the sun. Glenn is keen to be part of the ongoing community transition to renewable energy and the development of micro-grid storage and distribution of that power. Meanwhile, Glenn’s next project is the electric conversion of a two seat microlight aircraft that will offer quiet and pollution free flight.
Visiting the Kiewa Valley as a skier and bushwalker since the 1980s, Hilary retired to Mount Beauty in 2019 after a long career as an IT specialist and corporate trouble-shooter. Splitting her time between travel and home, she picks up local casual work in food production. A beekeeper with life-long interests in self-sufficiency, recycling and off-grid living, she is currently participating in the Project Edge Virtual Power Plant trial, and looking forward to enjoying home-grown produce from her new raised bed garden.
New committee members are always welcome!
Statement of Purpose
TREK (Towards Renewable Energy Kiewa) is your local community renewable energy advocacy group committed to working towards 100% renewable energy in the Kiewa Valley. TREK was formed under the auspices of the UKVCA (Upper Kiewa Valley Community Association), and promotes sustainability, community resilience, climate change awareness and renewable energy.
We are one of the 18 community energy and sustainability groups in the Hume region. Our geographic footprint is the beautiful Upper Kiewa River catchment including the localities of Falls Creek, Bogong, Mt Beauty, Tawonga South, Tawonga, Coral Bank, Kancoona, Mongan’s Bridge, Running Creek, Dederang, Glen Creek, Kergunyah South and Upper Gundowring.
Our aim is to educate and support our local community’s transition to renewable energy. We are passionate about the natural wonders in our valley and keeping it clean and green for future generations. We intend to increase community awareness and understanding of climate change and the possible future impacts. We work to develop and fund projects that will make a difference.
We are strongly supported by the Community Energy Network and we pursue our project funding from a variety of sources.
We know that when our communities work together, we can have a huge impact.
The electricity sector is the largest driver of climate change and takes $162 million out of our region each year. We believe that communities working together have the power to change that.
We want to increase local renewable energy generation so that our community only consumes the energy it produces. This means increasing the amount of household solar and battery installations, encouraging electric vehicles and building community scale clean energy generation and storage facilities.