Donald (1034 customers, 76% domestic) is fed mid-way along a long rural feeder from the Charlton Zone Substation. Charlton Zone Substation itself is fed from a single very long radial sub-transmission line from Bendigo, which has a high reliability risk.
The smaller Tarnagulla (147 customers, 80% domestic) at the end of a long rural line is fed by the Maryborough Zone Substation. Maryborough Zone substation is fed in a sub-transmission loop from Bendigo and Castlemaine and consequently has a lower reliability risk than Charlton.
These contrasting towns have been selected based on their strong community aspirations for new energy solutions.
Furthermore, the Loddon and Buloke Shires fall within an area where energy security and reliability are considerable challenges for their council and community with residents and businesses experiencing frequent outages.