The region’s clean energy group has signed a deal with a commercial power company to start delivering financial and carbon savings across the shire. While Augusta-Margaret River Clean Community Energy continues to beaver away at plans for a hybrid renewable energy plant in Scott River, chair Professor David Wood said he was thrilled this week to release details about the new partnership with provider Clear Energy. AMRCEE has engaged local businessman and recent council candidate Rob McDonald as its business development manager and will set up an office in Margaret River to liaise with Clear Energy to deliver a mix of green and grid-drawn electricity. Initially, bigger commercial operators would be targeted, but the rollout to homes could happen within the year, Mr McDonald told the Times. Clear Energy’s plan involved working directly with clients to establish their energy needs, then installing the right mix of equipment as part of the contract. “The electricity supplied to customers is comprised of a mix of renewable — primarily solar with storage — and grid,” Professor Wood said. “The mix will vary according to a customer’s particular energy usage patterns. “Our goal is delivering an energy solution for a customer that ultimately reduces both their costs of energy and their carbon emissions.” Rather than solar panels for individual homes, Mr McDonald said options such as a big-capacity renewable battery shared between a cluster of homes were more likely. Rosa Glen dairy farmer Tim Crimp said distance from the established power network and scaling up his energy supply were major barriers to his business. With power costs about $4000 minimum every two months, the deal with Clear Energy would hopefully save about 25 per cent on his bills and significantly reduce his carbon emissions, he said. Mr Crimp said he wanted to harness effluent from his dairy operation, but the cost to do it was prohibitive. “Just to get three-phase power out here I have to connect to the network which they (other commercial suppliers) said would cost about $180,000,” he said. Professor Wood said the partnership meant a source of income for AMRCEE, which would help fund the planned office, as well as feeding into other community-based projects, including the Scott River proposal. “Besides cleaner and more affordable energy, the agreement will also result in local employment and revenue retention for investment within the local community,” he said. AMRCEE was also celebrating the partnership because it put them ahead of their expected schedule in help address the region’s energy and carbon-reduction needs.