Project showcase: Renewable Newstead

Hats off to the folk behind Renewable Newstead who earlier this year signed an historic agreement with the Victorian network operator Powercor to support its transition to 100 per cent renewable, locally generated energy. The Memorandum of Understanding is the first major step for Renewable Newstead towards realising its plan of making the regional Victorian town 100 per cent renewable by 2021 via a purpose built community-scale grid.

According to the MOU with Newstead, Powercor will support the town by providing industry know-how on such matters as the energy load profile, grid stability and reliability, financial modelling, and other technical advice. The agreement comes one year after the Victorian government provided $200,000 in grant funding to the Newstead group for regional community-led clean energy development.

For more information see: http://reneweconomy.com.au/2016/victorian-network-signs-up-to-help-rural-community-go-100-renewable-49476

Project showcase: Lismore Farming the Sun

Lismore City Council and Farming the Sun have now completed negotiations to build two solar farms at the Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre and East Lismore Sewage Treatment Plant. Farming the Sun are currently working on finalising loan agreements (between the two community companies created and Lismore City Council), establishing administrative and financial systems for the community companies, and launching the Private Investment Offers.

Watch this space for imminent announcements

http://farmingthesun.net/lismore/

Project showcase: Enova

Since their successful fundraising, Enova have been busy preparing the processes and systems that will form the backbone of their business. This process of building the retail company is a major project for Enova and will enable them to start bringing their first customers on-board.

In addition to this, Enova have moved into new premises in Byron Bay in NSW and they have also commenced work on establishing their Not For Profit arm, Enova Community, who will deliver non-financial benefits back into the Northern Rivers community.

The creation of Australia’s first community-owned energy retailer is a very welcome development for the sector and we look forward to tracking their development over the coming months and years.

www.enovaenergy.com.au

Project showcase: CORENA Quick Win projects

 

CORENA leads the way in donation-based community energy, with their unique “Quick Win” revolving fund model that re-uses donated funds for multiple solar projects.

Donated funds are used to provide interest-free loans to community organisations so they can pay for solar installations and energy efficiency measures. These loans are repaid over time out of the savings made on power bills. Repayments then help fund subsequent projects.

Corena are fundraising for their 12th and 13th project and to-date have raised almost $120,000 – all donated by a growing supporter base from across Australia. Projects have been completed in South Australia, Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

http://corenafund.org.au/quick-win-projects/

 

Project Showcase: ClearSky Solar Investments

ClearSky are true pioneers in community energy in Australia. Setup in 2013 by the Northern Beaches (Sydney) chapter of Clean Energy for Eternity, the group’s objective was to empower local communities to benefit environmentally and economically from the production of clean energy.

ClearSky Solar Investments launched its first project in 2013 with an installation on a pub in Boggabri NSW. Since then community investors have financed 12 projects across NSW and Victoria with a total capacity of 440 kW. Community investors get a return of between 6 to 9% depending on the terms of the contract. To date ClearSky Solar have raised over $650,000 in capital and have paid out $118,000 in quarterly payments to investors.

Here’s a link to ClearSky’s new video and a map of their operating projects to date.

Project showcase: Pingala Aboriginal Community Solar

Energy affordability is a major issue for many remote communities

Energy affordability is a major issue for many remote communities

With the support of a NSW Growing Community Energy grant, Pingala has been working with three aboriginal communities in North-West NSW. The project is a partnership with The Valley Centre and addresses critical energy affordability issues for households in these communities.

The communities themselves have been at the centre of driving the direction of the project and this has led to the creation of a new energy business model that enables community investment, local community ownership & management of power and local training and employment opportunities.

Pingala will be partnering with indigenous energy corporation, AllGrid Energy, for the implementation phase of the project and a publicity campaign will be launching soon. You can register your interest in the meantime by following this link