Goulburn, Aug 4, 2019. Dr John Hewson has accepted the role of Chairman of the board of the Goulburn Community Energy Co-op, the builders of the1.8 MW Goulburn community owned solar farm on the outskirts of the city.
The Co-op has been set up by Community Energy for Goulburn (CE4G), a community group formed in 2013 to progress community owned renewable energy projects in the region.
Ed Suttle, the president of CE4G says that the aim of the project is to produce renewable energy in the region and to offer local people the opportunity to invest in the project. This keeps the profits within the community, rather than sending money to big companies who have little connection with this region.
“Dr Hewson is a national figure, but is also well known to people of Goulburn, having launched the solar farm Feasibility Study in 2016. He was also the keynote speaker at the Goulburn Connects business breakfast back in 2013 when the solar farm was first discussed,” said Mr Suttle.
“As a supporter of Community Energy for Goulburn, he has taken a keen interest in the project and is now ready to lend a guiding hand during the construction period, and as the Co-op progresses with further projects,” he said .
A former leader of the Federal Liberal Party, Dr Hewson has wide experience as an economist for the Reserve Bank and the IMF, as an adviser to John Howard, as an economics professor at Macquarie University and as a successful businessman. He is currently a professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy at ANU.
Dr Hewson is a regular media commentator and appears regularly on the ABC, is an opinion writer for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Guardian, and is a sought-after business commentator on the future of stranded assets as global warming impacts on the fossil fuel industry.
“You guys are at the forefront of building community owned solar farms; you are leading what could well be a revolution in powering households across the state,” said Dr Hewson at the feasibility study launch back in 2016.
Ed Suttle says that with John Hewson chairing the Co-op board, investors can have confidence that this project will succeed.
“We are immensely proud of what we have achieved so far, and encouraged by the support of people like Dr Hewson who has been with us as we navigated all the obstacles we’ve encountered,” he said.
“And after an introduction from Dr Hewson, Dr Rowena Cantley-Smith, a Goulburn resident, and high profile barrister and energy law lecturer at UTS has also joined the board” he said.
“Having signed a contract with a construction development partner, we are expecting activity on the site before the end of the year and have high hopes that at last we will be able flick the switch in the first half of next year,” said Mr Suttle.