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Watts next for green power survey?

Written by Troy Reid and Rhys Alconley-Jones

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]B[/bra_dropcaps]urning Seed often means different things to different people. The experience can vary from integrally connective to wildly discombobulating, and whether we’re coming apart at the seams or holding it together with sass and style often comes down to the quality of connection that we have with each other, our environment, and ourselves.

The PowerCity feasibility study aimed to explore how we connect electronically. Do we stick to our petrochemical guns; atomised campsites each with generator louder and smellier than a Trash Mansion barwoman whirring till the wee hours of the morn?  Or can we share power, quite literally, and engineer a solution both by and for the community?

While the feasibility study is ongoing, the project survey component is now concluded, and we are amped to brag about what we learnt.

The nuts & bolts 

Thanks to everyone that took time to answer the survey questions. From the 58 survey responses received in total, there was overwhelming support for the proposal and all 21 theme camp organisers, art exhibitors and team leaders responded unanimously in favour of a dedicated professional team taking responsibility for power generation and distribution, because quite frankly it is a big pain in the arse.

If it proceeds, the most favoured funding model for the proposal was an increase in the event ticket price and based on the survey data we now roughly know how much electricity we need at this year’s event. For you nerdy types here are the magical numbers:

Projected power requirements: min=30kVA | avg=50kVA | max=160kVA

Projected energy requirements: 6,440kWh (liberated from 1,800L B100 BioDiesel)

Projected CO2 production/abatement required (calculated as 2.64kg of CO2/L): 4,752kg

For those interested in how these figures were arrived at, feel free to check out both the raw survey data as well as the calculations worksheet here. 

Sexy sign-ups

The survey also invited people to register interest in becoming a part of the project implementation. Here is an impressive summary of the surprising talent within our burner community that have put their hands up:  Electrical Engineer (1); Mechanical Engineer (1); Software Engineer (1); Engineering Technician (1); Licensed Electricians (3); Solar Systems Specialist (1) and Fearless Enthusiasts (7).

With a gene pool this sexy, we feel sure that the PowerCity project could easily evolve into something that shoots electrons into your next cuddle-puddle-spank-sessions, psychedelic aerobic workouts, or whatever else you freaks are into.

EmPOWERment and principle

There have been some concerns expressed that with electricity effectively ‘outsourced’, we’ll turn into an ultra-entitled out-group, demanding kilowatts and centrelink payments with no sense of, or respect for, the principle of Self-Reliance.

While this is always a possibility, the Communal Effort principle has something to say about this too. By pooling our resources and skills together, we can emPOWER our Theme Camps and Red Earth city to provide an even greater space for self-expression. And mother nature will be pretty stoked too.

Watts next I hear you ask? Well we are still in the process of validating and costing a range of competing solutions with a view to having the feasibility study completed by the end of May. So watch this space.

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Get down n dirty with Red Earth Ecology

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]C[/bra_dropcaps]ome get dirty with a bunch of Burners — nooooooo, not that kinda dirty. Cheeky! We do that all time. Nup, we’re offering you the chance to connect with Country, learn about the district’s ecosystems and build stronger ties with the local community by joining Red Earth Ecology on another biodiversity planting weekend on 1-3 May.

Red Earth Ecology is building on the momentum and success of last year’s project by organising a biodiversity planting at a property close to the Seed site. These plantings are an annual project that help strengthen the links between Burning Seed and the surrounding land and locals.

They’re looking for about 20 community members like YOU to join the crew. Help give something back to the people and place where we play, leave a positive trace, have fun and connect with other Burners towards a common goal. No, not BACON (although there will be plenty of that) – BIODIVERSITY! For a little sneaky squiz, check out the pics from last time.

This year the team will also work with skilled-up Burners to assess the Carbon footprint of Burning Seed 2015 so that we can offset our emissions accurately next year. Red Earth Ecology is also increasing its visibility this year at Seed, with MORE bush walks (which conveniently end at Red Earth Brewery during happy hour), and MORE education about the Red Earth City ecosystem online and at site.

For more information, contact maddock.helios@gmail.com

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Call to care action — Matong Burner needs our support

10997176_782903998446092_4429033221212887762_o[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]B[/bra_dropcaps]rian Jones is a much-loved Matong local and Burner who has been an enthusiastic and vital support person for Seed, donating his time, heavy machinery and good will from the get go! Now he needs our support too.

At the start of this year, Brian developed Guillain-Barre syndrome, a very rare auto-immune reaction following a throat infection, which causes rapid paralysis. Within a week he went from working 14-hour days on the farm to not being able to walk at all, nor use his hands. With daily physio the recovery time is between six months to two years on average.

Brian has been at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital since the new year, first in intensive care and now the rehab unit. He is recovering at a best-case scenario pace, and his mental and emotional health are strong. He’s focused, determined and positive. Even so, he is likely to be in hospital for several more months, re-learning how to walk.

Let’s help him to stay positive and feel connected to our community. If you can find some spare time, please send Brian a letter, card, drawing, distraction, words of encouragement, or something else that you can think of. Thanks!

The Address:

Brian Jones
Wagga Wagga Base Hospital
Rehab Unit
PO Box 159
Wagga Wagga
NSW 2650