Canberra energised with community-owned solar farm

Friday, 09 April, 2021 | Supplied by: SolarShare

Investing in solar used to be limited to those who owned property with a sunny roof and could afford to place solar panels on it. Now a community-owned solar farm in Canberra opens up investing in solar to all Canberrans and anyone who wants to be part of the shift to a renewable energy economy.

More than 400 Canberrans have raised over $2.4 million to finance the construction of the SolarShare Community Farm, located on a 3 ha site in Majura Valley on the outskirts of Canberra. The 1 MW solar farm consists of 5000 solar modules, which will contribute over 2.3 GWh of energy into the grid each year.

ACT Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Shane Rattenbury was there as the farm was switched on in March.

“The SolarShare Community Farm has given the local community the power to invest in renewable energy, providing power to around 250 local homes through this great initiative,” he said.

“For people who can’t install solar at their own premises, this is a great way to be involved in the clean energy revolution.

“Now that we have a proven model, I look forward to seeing more community-owned solar farms here in the ACT and across Australia.”

SolarShare’s Principal Executive Officer, Lawrence McIntosh, was proud to be energising the solar farm and helping the city transition to a sustainable future.

“Studies overseas have shown when an energy generation plant is locally owned, nine times as much local economic activity is created compared with plants owned by large developers not locally based. This is because the local investors in the project will generally cycle their earnings back into local goods and services,” McIntosh said.

“It’s been a pleasure to be a part of creating the SolarShare Majura project and I feel tremendous gratitude for all the support we’ve receive from the community, from our volunteers, from local service providers, our construction and finance partners Epho and CWP, and of course the ACT Government.”

The project is a part of the ACT Government’s large-scale renewable energy program.

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