With sincere thanks to the community investors, the private investment offers are now closed and have been fully subscribed. And the tenders for construction of the solarfarms were approved by Lismore City Council on Tuesday 3 August.
This means that we expect that Australia’s first ever community-funded Council-operated solarfarms will be operating by the end of the year!
We were wonderfully surprised by the swift and positive response to the investment offers. Within just ten days of opening it was already clear that the offers would be fully subscribed. In fact, by the time we formally closed the two investment offers we had received enough applications to fund an additional solarfarm in its entirety!
We are pleased to report that both solarfarm projects have a majority of local investors from the Northern Rivers. The balance of investors come from right around the country and include some valuable strategic links with the community energy and sustainable investment sectors.
The Lismore Community Solarfarms will comprise two 100kW solarfarms developed in partnership with Lismore City Council. They are the first ever Council-operated and community-funded solarfarms in Australia and are flagship projects for Council’s 2023 Renewable Energy Master Plan.
One of the solarfarms will be the largest floating solar power system in Australia to date, located on the tertiary treatment pond at the East Lismore Sewage Treatment Plant. This pioneering infrastructure is being designed and constructed by Suntrix Commercial. It has been forecast to produce around 178MWh of electricity per year and reduce Council’s annual electricity bill by around $23,000.
The second solarfarm will be on the roof of the Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre and is to be constructed by Rainbow Power Company. This system is forecast to produce around138MWh of electriity per year and realise savings of nearly $18,000 per annum.
The power generated from both projects is expected to be fully utilised on-site.
We are deeply honoured to be at the forefront of Australia’s community energy movement in working on these projects. This success is tangible proof of just how strong the interest and support for renewable energy is ~ from community investors and philanthropists as well as professional advisors and more.
As you may know, The Council-Community Solarfarm model was created through the Farming the Sun collaboration by Starfish Initiatives, Embark Australia and Norton Rose Fulbright. Funding for the project was provided by the NSW Government’s Growing Community Energy program, The Earth Welfare Foundation and Diversicon Environmental Foundation.
This community energy model is now being made freely available under a Creative Commons Licence to other Councils and community energy groups to develop their own solar and sustainable energy projects.
In the short term, there are further community solar project opportunities any unsuccessful community investors may wish to consider, namely: Pingala Sydney; Sydney Renewable Power Company; Clear Sky Solar Investments; Community-Owned Renewable Energy Mullumbimby (COREM); Citizens Own Renewable Energy Network Australia (CORENA); SolarShare ACT; and Clean Energy 4 Goulburn.
The growing interest by the general community considering investing in community energy projects is WONDERFUL.
Please find below links to projects you may wish to find out more about:
Community-Owned Renewable Energy Mullumbimby (COREM)
(donation rather than investment)
Citizens Own Renewable Energy Network Australia (CORENA)
(donation rather than investment)
To be kept informed of developments with the Community Energy sector and movement more widely, see: