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How does a banana peel become the key to reliability for disruptive technologies?

Imagine strong coastal winds, bright sunny days and our household waste coming together to run reverse-cycle air conditioners, recharge the smartphone and, most importantly, keep the slow cooker warm while it prepares tomorrow night’s beef casserole.

This was the winning ‘waste not, want not’ approach from the Pure Power team at Western Australia’s first Energy Self-Sufficiency Hackathon, which proved that solutions to reliability concerns associated with disruptive power generation can have a greener than green edge.

This month we kicked off a six month process with Pure Power to further develop their idea and see if they can create a viable solution for the Albany region.
“From the outset we wanted the Hackathon to go beyond conventional thinking to find ways of unlocking the potential of the grid to deliver solutions for our community,” said Fiona Bishop, Executive Manager Change & Innovation.


“Pure Power’s proposal wasn’t just a good outcome for the Albany region in terms of energy self-sufficiency, but also the broader community in applying a waste-to-biofuels solution. It was their holistic community-minded approach that nudged them over the line.”


See what happened during the two day Hackathon:

“Western Power is doing things differently. This will help us continue to be a competitive business that is a platform for customer choice - to choose energy solutions that suit their unique energy needs, even if the solutions don’t exist yet.

“With a strong community vision, changes in the energy industry and fast-emerging new technologies, it is the right time to be thinking differently and innovatively about opportunities. So we hacked it.

“The Pure Power winning entry, along with the runner up ‘Resting Chuditch’ and People’s Choice Award winners ‘Kleen and Green’, showed the depth of innovation coming from WA,” said Ms Bishop.

Here is an overview of the winning teams’ proposed solutions:

  • People’s Choice award - Kleen & Green who pitched a not-for-profit retailer, bidding on behalf of the Albany community in WA’s energy market.
  • Runner-up - Restful Chuditch, this team pitched a virtual power plant solution.
  • Winning team - Pure Power pitched a holistic ‘biomass energy gold’ solution designed to provide stable baseload generation.

The winning team - Pure Power - were presented with a $5,000 prize for the most innovative idea

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