Background – Lismore
Lismore Community Solar fits within a broader strategic context of sustainability and renewable energy work right across the North Coast and Northern Rivers region ~ which is 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 [link to Partners] ~ the contemporary origins 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 Northern Rivers Energy for a locally owned electricity retailer.
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.
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.