Community Connect develops and distributes the Community Energy Toolkit (COMET); an interactive, simulation-based community engagement tool for mini-grid developers who design, build, and operate renewable energy mini-grids for rural communities.
COMET provides a new approach for understanding, stimulating and managing end-user demand by immersing community members in an interactive mini-grid simulation. Project developers and operators use COMET to build a customised virtual mini-grid and walk the community through capacity, pricing and load management scenarios, yielding more nuanced demand forecasts and clearly communicating the costs and benefits associated with an electricity connection. The software generates data on load profiles, system utilization, willingness-to-pay and operating revenues that developers and operators can use to evaluate mini-grid design and management options. By utilising a collaborative planning process, developers build trust and local capacity, opening the possibility of more community support and participation in management and operations.