Farming the Sun is is currently coordinating three community solar bulk-buys:

  1. Northern Rivers solar power
  2. New England North West solar power
  3. New England North West solar hot water

Register your interest here for Block#2 of the Northern Rivers Bulk-Buy.

These current solar bulk-buy programs are building upon Farming the Sun’s earlier success in coordinating the installation of $6.7m worth of solar technologies during the 2008-2011 period.

The purpose of our community bulk-buys is to significantly increase the understanding, affordability and take-up of solar energy technologies by making available a discounted bulk offering of high quality, solar power and hot water systems.

We have negotiated the best possible discounts on top tier quality solar power and solar hot water technologies, installation and warranties. Our solar power packages can also be upgraded to add battery storage. As a community and sustainability enterprise, it is important for us to only use high quality and long-lasting technologies.

The goals for the bulk-buys are as follows:

  • Northern Rivers: Install 3 MW of solar power for 1% (780) of residences across the greater region including Ballina, Byron, Lismore and Tweed local government areas.
  • New England North West:
    • Install 1MW of solar power for 1% (333) of residences across the local government areas of Tamworth, Armidale, Liverpool Plains, Gunnedah, Uralla and Walcha.
    • Install solar hot water for an additional 1% (270) of residences, across the local government areas of Armidale Dumaresq, Glen Innes Severn, Guyra, Inverell, Uralla and Walcha

Businesses are also eligible for each of the three bulk-buys. Any business uptake will be in addition to the above goals.

Farming the Sun will further contribute to long-term sustainability of these regions by setting aside “1% for Sustainability” ~ being 1% of the project income from each bulk-buy to fund future sustainability initiatives in each region.

Farming the Sun would like to acknowledge and thank all of our Project Partners who provide valuable support in helping us spread the word far and wide throughout our communities and regions about these affordable community solar programs.

Benefits for Community & Business

Energy, and the many functions it provides, is an essential need and a foundation for our quality of life.

NSW still sources the bulk of its electricity from coal-fired power stations. The Northern Rivers has successfully defended itself from unconvential gas exploration, however the New England North West is still facing new coal and gas mines which are directly threatening prime agricultural land, endangered species of flora and fauna, as well as creating serious risks to the Murray Darling Basin and Great Artesian Basin water supplies.

The growing impacts of climate change are just as serious considerations for our energy options, including increasing local temperatures and more extreme variability in storm activity and rainfall patterns.

Farming the Sun provides community members and business the opportunity to be a part of a collective purchasing program which achieves significant discounts below recommended retail prices for high-quality solar technologies.

As part of our programs we provide educational information, presentations and forums to increase the understanding of solar energy technology and the sustainability issues associated with different energy choices.

Installing solar energy technologies is one of the most affordable ways to reduce both household and business costs at the same time as reducing environmental impacts.

Our view is that solar energy is profoundly more sustainable than either coal or gas power.

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