Project Description

Communication challenges: 

  • Introduce an international renewable energy company into Australia, nationally and in the local regions where their projects operate
  • Implement community engagement strategies for three renewable energy projects

Achievements:

Beijing Jingneng Clean Energy (Australia) Holding Pty Ltd (BJCE Australia) is wholly owned by Beijing Jingneng Clean Energy Co. Limited (BJCE) through its Hong Kong subsidiary. BJCE entered the Australian market in 2014 by acquiring a 75% stake in Gullen Range Wind Farm. BJCE Australia was formed in 2017, with a mission to explore, develop and produce clean energy within Australia.

OPF Consulting was appointed to launch and manage the delivery of services to the local communities surrounding their wind farms. OPF also had to ensure a successful entry into for the brand into Australian marketplace.

The second challenge was to improve the perception and acceptance of Gullen Range Wind Farm. Prior to BJCE acquiring the facility, the community had experienced a long and exhausting process of poor community consultation during the development phase. They felt uninformed, forgotten and misled.  OPF developed several strategies to overcome this issue, working to cultivate a better, stronger relationship with nearby neighbours and the local community. This included developing a stronger media presence, increased sponsorship activities including manning information stands, fundraising BBQs and community workshops.

OPF developed and managed a series of community engagement activities for all three renewable projects. These were designed to demystify and explicate renewable energy projects, enthuse people of all ages about the industry and its potential, while also improving local community and stakeholder understanding, interest and engagement.

In 2017, OPF led the delivery of a launch event for Australia’s first co-located project, Gullen Range Wind and Solar Farm. This was an historic moment for clean energy in Australia. Gullen Range was an important demonstration project – right at the forefront of renewable energy integration technology.

Special guests at the launch included Ms Hongbo Wang, Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Consulate General of People’s Republic of China, the Mayors of both the Upper Lachlan and Goulburn Mulwarree Shire Councils and leaders from Decmil Group and Balance Services Group, who constructed the solar farm in a joint venture. The event was held inside the Solar Farm with over 100 guests in attendance. OPF produced a BJCE brand profile video for the launch and a video of the launch event itself. Which was distributed to media. OPF was responsible for the event management, guest lists and invitations, media engagement, photography and videography. A produced itself and corporate photography

Genuine engagement through consultation and communication can alleviate and even prevent issues developing with neighbours and the wider community. Where there is no engagement strategy the result is usually community discontent, a highly charged political environment and negative publicity for the project owner.