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NSW community solar “bulk buy” aims to put 1MW on local homes, business

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One Step Off The Grid

A new round of community solar round is set to be launched by NSW-based company Farming The Sun, with the aim of installing 1MW of solar throughout the Tamworth, Gunnedah, Liverpool Plains and Southern New England High Country regions.

lismore solar

The project, which aims to give local residents and businesses access to rooftop solar with significant price discounts, is the fourth such solar funding round led by Farming The Sun.

The fund-raising is conducted under the Council-Community Solar farm model that was created through the Farming the Sun collaboration by Starfish Initiatives, Embark Australia and Norton Rose Fulbright.

So far, the large-scale collaboration coordinated by Starfish Initiatives has resulted in the installation of more than $6.7 million worth of solar energy – an effort that has won it a Green Globe Award for contribution to sustainability and installation.

The new investment round, which will be coordinated by Starfish Initiatives and Eco Energy Solar Solutions, will be launched on September 19 in Tamworth, with project partners TAFE New England, Z-NET Uralla, SOS Liverpool Plains. A solar power system will also be on display.

Meanwhile, the Installations funded in the first round – Australia’s first community-funded council solar farms – are expected to be up and running by the end of the year, after two investment rounds raised enough money to fund the two 100kW Lismore projects, as well as an additional solar farm.

Farming the Sun said in August that the tenders for construction of the Lismore Community Solar farms had also been awarded, and approved by Lismore City Council, putting the projects on track for completion by the end of this year.

Adam Blakester, project director of Farming the Sun, said the community response to previous  investment offers had been “swift and positive.”

“It was clear within the first ten days that the two (June) investment offers would be fully subscribed,” Blakester said.

“In fact, by the time we formally closed the offers we had received enough applications to fund an additional solar farm in its entirety.”

Blakester said both projects had a majority of local investors from the Northern Rivers region.

“The balance of investors have come from right around the country and represent a strategic mix of shareholders and linkages with the community energy and sustainable investment sectors,” he said in August.

WHEN: Monday 19th September 2016 ~ 9:45am for a 10am start to 11am

WHERE: Binaalbaa (T1.16), TAFE New England, Janison Street, TAMWORTH

RSVP by 5pm, Friday 16 September to Liz Gardiner ~ liz@starfish-associates.org | 02 6778 7249

This article was originally published on RenewEconomy sister site One Step Off The Grid. To sign up for the weekly newsletter, click here  

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  • Kenshō

    Energy harvest at point of use. The distributed paradigm at it’s best. Those people are truly caring for their communities. That’s heart.