A new community investment funding program for rooftop solar has met its $139,600 target in just two days, taking its total fund-raising to nearly $500,000 from four programs.
The latest fund-raising program from not-for-profit group Repower Shoalhaven opened on 3pm Monday, but by the close of business on Tuesday had already met he target.
“We are blown away,” the organisation said in an emailed message to its supporters. “If you missed out, do not worry – hopefully Repower Five is not too far away into the new year.”
Secretary Jessica Berg says the three previous fund-raising took about a week to meet the target, but in his case half the funds had been raised within three hours. The average investment was $7,000.
Berg says the success shows that the program is building up momentum, and it also shows that people want to invest in renewable energy, and local renewable energy. “People are struggling to find ethical investments and they are very happy to invest in local, community projects,” she says.
The Repower 4 investment project aims to install a 95kW solar project on the Nowra Bowling club, a local dairy farm and a timber yard. The businesses do not pay for the system, but do pay the solar power they use.
Under the program, investors get an annual return of 5.19 per cent in interest and some of the capital back, until the system is paid off after 10 years. At the point, the system is then gifted to the business, who can then access “free solar” for the remaining lifetime of the system. Solar systems usually last 25 years or more.
So far, Repower Shoalhaven has $495,000 in community investment to fund 325kW of solar on local business rooftops
Repower Shoalhaven, which works in conjunction with Suncrowd, says it is looking for more community solar projects throughout the Shoalhaven, Illawarra, Southern Highlands and Eurobodalla.
So far, it has raised money for solar projects on local business in and around Bomaderry, as well as a 99kW solar system on the roof of the Shoalhaven Heads Bowling and Recreation Club, and two 15kW solar systems on the roofs of two local churches – the Nowra City Church in North Nowra and the Figtree Anglican Church in Figtree.
Giles Parkinson is founder and editor of One Step Off The Grid, and also edits and founded Renew Economy and The Driven. He has been a journalist for 35 years and is a former business and deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review.
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