The NSW government has announced it will inject another $700,000 of funding to help communities establish their own community renewable energy projects.
Environment Minister Rob Stokes made the announcement at the formal opening of the 99kW community-owned solar installation at the Shoalhaven Heads Bowling Club in NSW. The project, established by Repower Shoalhaven, is the largest community owned solar project to date in the country.
Stokes said the new grants – up to $70,000 can be allocated for a single project, will offset the high upfront administrative costs of community energy projects, and “unlock the potential that small-scale renewable energy” has to offer.
“This funding will open up the benefits that decentralised electricity can provide to local communities. Projects that benefit low income families will receive priority.”
Repower Shoalhaven received $10,000 from the NSW Government to help develop community renewable energy models that can be used across the Shoalhaven region and surroundings.
Kiama MP Gareth Ward, a Liberal, described the project as an extraordinary achievement. “This project shows how we can meet the needs of today, without jeopardising the needs of future generations. That’s the power of renewable energy.”