Locals invited to invest in Sydney community solar project, to help make "solar beer"

A City of Sydney-backed community solar project that will put a 30kW PV system on the roof of a craft brewery in the city’s inner west will be opened to local investors this weekend.
The project, which will install 120 solar panels at Young henry’s brewery in Newtown, won $40,000 in funding from the City of Sydney in November. The PV system will supply around 25 per cent of the brewery’s total electricity use, with no up-front capital costs.

Sydney - October 23, 2015: Oscar McMahon (l) of Young Henry's and members of a communtiy solar project pose for a photograph with a solar panel inside the Young Henry's brewery. 120 panels are to be intalled on the brewery roof during the project. (photo by Jamie Williams/City of Sydney)
Oscar McMahon (l) of Young Henry’s and members of a communtiy solar project pose for a photograph with a solar panel inside the Young Henry’s brewery. (photo by Jamie Williams/City of Sydney)

NSW-based community solar group Pingala, which is leading the project, said on Wednesday that it would launch the community investment round at the brewery on Sunday, with 76 share allocations of $250 each up for grabs.
Winning expressions-of-interest will be selected by ballot on the day and winners will need to complete paperwork and transfer the funds within a two-week period.
“We’re really excited by this project,” said Young Henry’s director and co-founder, Oscar McMahon. “Generating solar energy is a really simple way of building on our commitment to low impact brewing and giving back to the community.
For Pingala, the project has significance as the group’s first to be completed – and the first community-funded solar-leasing project in Australia.
“We are very proud to be making history in the exciting community renewable energy sector,” said Pingala’s Tom Nockolds. “The project has also been made possible by a generous grant from the City of Sydney, and by leading solar installer, Solargain, who provided pro-bono engineering services,” he said.
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City was “thrilled” to get behind the community-based project.
“Three quarters of our residents live in apartments with limited roof space, often jointly owned by strata, which has restricted the growth of solar – Pingala and Young Henry’s have shown it’s technically and economically feasible for our residents to get on board with community-owned renewables.
“Across the city we’re installing one of Australia’s largest roof solar programs on our own buildings, trialling battery storage in one of our depots with Transgrid and just endorsed a new $10 million renewable energy fund. This project demonstrates how we can make the shift to renewable energy even faster.”
The Young Henrys solar PV system is expected to be up and running by the end of August. Locals interested in attended the investment launch on Sunday can book free tickets here.

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