Lismore Community Solar is positioned at the forefront of Australia’s nascent community energy movement and sector. It is in fact likely to create Australia’s first ever Council operated and community funded solarfarms.

The purpose of Lismore Community Solar is to create two 100kW solarfarms through a partnership between local community members and Lismore City Council ~ with funding provided by local community ‘impact’ investors and operation of the solarfarms by Lismore City Council.

The two solarfarms are flagship projects for Lismore City Council’s 2023 Renewable Energy Master Plan which will address objectives outlined in the Imagine Lismore 10 Year Plan 2013-2023.


New solar array at Lismore Worker’s Club.

These projects will further the Lismore’s community vision of being a model of sustainability, with outcomes across each of the three domains of sustainability: environmentally benign renewable energy from solar power; strengthened community leadership and capacity in sustainable energy; plus an innovative local finance model.

Lismore City Council is the first regional council in Australia to commit to making its electricity supply 100% renewable.

This ‘model of sustainability’ is aligned with the aspirations of many more local councils right across Australia who are pursuing ground-breaking strategies in renewable energy, climate neutrality, sustainability and collaboration with their communities.

As Australia’s first ever council operated and community funded solarfarms, Lismore Community Solar will create significant potential to leverage public profile as well as the leadership, enhanced capacity and engagement of the numerous people and partners involved.

Disclaimer: Lismore City Council (Council) is not in a financial partnership or joint venture with Starfish Initiatives, Farming the Sun or any other associated entity or organisation. Council’s role in this initiative is as borrower of funds and as the entity that owns and constructs the solar farms.

Council does not guarantee the appropriateness of any investment in this initiative. The material provided by Council about the initiative is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice. If you are considering investing in this initiative, you should obtain advice from a suitably qualified advisor. You should obtain and review a Product Disclosure Statement or Prospectus before making any decision to invest.

Find out more about the Solarfarm Business Model …


The Private Investment Offer was formally closed on 11 August 2016 and has been fully subscribed. We are enormously grateful for the overwhelming response.

We are pleased to report that successful share applications are from a majority of local investors from the Northern Rivers. The balance of investors have come from right around the country and include valuable linkages with the community energy and sustainable investment sectors.

For more details see the current Farming the Sun newsletter here.


Lismore Community Solar fits within a broader strategic context of sustainability and renewable energy work right across the North Coast and Northern Rivers region ~ arguably the strongest region-wide focus on sustainable energy currently of anywhere in Australia.

While this work has been led by Sustain Northern Rivers (SNR) and the North Coast Energy Forum (NCEF) in recent years ~ both of who are project partners ~ the contemporary origins of this movement hark back to the historic 1973 Aquarius Festival, and the birth of Australia’s ‘hippy movement’, with the arrival of people living alternate lifestyles oriented around love for people, nature and life itself.

In recent years there have been numerous and considerable efforts to create community energy projects, including the current work on Enova Energy to create Australia’s first community-owned electricity retailer.

Lismore is located in the heart of Australia’s gas fields free movement too. This extraordinary, creative and powerful movement of people have together created history with Australia’s first ever withdrawal of a coal-seam-gas mining operation due to near universal community expression of their disagreement and lack of support. Talk about people power!

It is within this context, and the clear groundswell of community support for renewable energy, that Lismore Community Solar has arisen. There has been extensive work with local stakeholders over the past two years seeking to establish community solarfarms ~ as evidenced by the dozens of possible host sites which were voluntarily offered and the significant publicity and profile for the project.

In recent years there have been numerous and considerable efforts to create community energy projects, including the current work on Enova Energy to create Australia’s first community-owned electricity retailer.

While Lismore Community Solar is clearly focussed on clean energy and ethical local investment, the projects are set against the stark backdrop of the Gas Fields Free movement and deep public concern regarding climate change, public health and the conservation and regeneration of nature and farming.


The project will incorporate an interpretive display and real-time solar power generation reporting at Goonellabah Sports & Acquatic Centre. This facility is used by a wide cross-section of the community and provides ongoing opportunities for engagement and education about the project ~ particularly the benefits of community partnerships and renewable energy.

East Lismore STP

Proposed site - East Lismore Sewage Treatment Plant

Proposed site – East Lismore Sewage Treatment Plant

Goonellabah Sports & Aquatic Centre

Goonellabah Sports & Aquatic Centre

East Lismore STP Mock-up

East Lismore STP Mock-up

Creative Commons License