Coalition provides funds for 300kW solar for community groups

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The federal Coalition government has announced $300,000 of grants to help 17 community groups in two South Australian cities install 320kW of rooftop solar on their buildings.

The funding, from round two of the Coalition’s Solar Towns program, will help sporting groups, charities and multi-cultural groups add the solar and help reduce their electricity bills (see full list below).

“The Solar Towns Program is an opportunity for communities to reap the benefits of the Turnbull government’s investment in renewable energy,” Hunt said in a statement.

Hunt said that the government was providing “over $15 billion in support for renewables and lower emissions.”

He cited the two large-scale solar plants in Broken Hill and Nyngan which he opened last week. Both plants were funded under the previous Labor government via the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, which the Coalition government is still trying to repeal.

This is despite the fact that ARENA recently shortlisted 22 solar projects to receive funding under a $100 million large-scale solar PV competitive round.

The renewable energy target, which was cut to 33,000GWh after the Coalition’s failed attempts to scrap it completely, is yet to produce any new investments since the Coalition government was elected in 2013.

Hunt, however, said solar was popular with households and businesses, “because the Australian government mandates more than $3000 in rebates for an average solar system. That’s about 30 per cent of the total cost of installation.”

He also noted that the federal budget provided small businesses with an immediate tax deduction for eligible assets valued up to $20,000 –including solar panels, solar hot water systems, heat pumps and storage.

Coalition Senator Sean Edwards, who is based in South Australia, said in the statement that he was “delighted” to see community groups benefit from the Turnbull government’s investment in renewable energy.

“I am pleased to see that the work to install an 18kW solar photovoltaic panel system on the building used by the Angle Vale Scout Group will deliver benefits to the community and the environment by saving energy, reducing emissions and lowering energy costs,” Edwards said.

Edwards, an outspoken support of nuclear energy, has been a strident critic of subsidies for renewable energy.

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  • humanitarian solar

    Great to spread the money around. As community members access the clubs, all of us have the opportunity to experience the benefits of renewable energy, and join in the celebration as we harvest the power of the elements. As more people have first hand experience, they will look to ways for the feeling to be transferrable in other areas of their lives. Great initiatives.

  • Ian

    Solar, the gift that keeps giving, not a bad way to give to charity. Donate solar to your favourite charity and encourage renewables at the same time. Give a man a watt and you power him for a minute, give him a panel and you power him for life!