Holgate Brewhouse in Woodend will host a community-financed solar system to generate clean electricity for its expanded brewing operation.


The huge 68 kilowatt solar array will be installed on the roof of Holgate's new brewing discovery centre and showroom.

100% of the electricity generated will be used on site, with savings on power bills used to pay back a community-financed loan.

Macedon Ranges residents and businesses will be invited to buy shares in a new community cooperative - the Macedon Ranges Community Energy Group - which will finance Holgate’s system alongside other renewable energy projects in the municipality.

The project is a win for business, community investors and the environment' says Ralf Thesing, the project’s coordinator and local resident.

'Ultimately we aim to generate enough renewable energy through local projects to meet the electricity needs of the entire shire’.

Ralf Thesing


  • Location: New Holgates building, Woodend

  • System size: 68kW

  • Investment: $79,200 including GST.

  • Cost per watt: $1,061/kW

  • Implementation Partner Essential Solar


After the Timber Mill Solar Project this will be the second Community Owned Renewable Energy project in the Macedon Ranges. The Mill project was financed by a state government grant in 2015 and is owned and operated by the Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group (MRSG) with monthly electricity payments from the tenants flowing back to the MRSG’s Macedon Ranges Renewable Energy Fund.

The Solar Beer project will enable community investment by local residents with an attractive return. The benefits of the solar installation will be shared from day one between the Holgate Brewhouse (the host) and the group of Investors. MRSG will initiate and administer the investment group.

The Holgates Brewery Project will be the first initiative of the Macedon Ranges Community Energy Group (New page coming soon).



The Renewable Energy Action Group (REAG) is part of the not-for-profit Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group.

Our goal is to make the Macedon Ranges carbon neutral by 2030, by leading, supporting and investing in local energy efficiency, generation and offset projects in partnership with community, government and industry.