Community energy group Repower Shoalhaven has raised $143,500 in just seven days in its third funding round, an effort the group says amounts to the biggest community solar capital raise in Australian history.
The money raised for the Repower Three campaign – which was launched in the NSW town of Bomaderry last week – will go towards the installation of solar panels on a number of well known local businesses including the Milkwood bakery, a cafe in Berry, and a dairy farm in Numbaa.
Formed by volunteers in 2013, Repower has so far funded the installation of 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.
All up, the group has raised a combined $370,000, mostly from community investors to deliver a total of seven local solar projects.
On top of their original investment amount, investors in Repower Two were forecast to receive an average cash return of 6.5 per cent per annum over 10 years.
The Repower Three project offers an estimated 7 per cent cash return.
The group, which now has a staff of five part-time workers headed up by founding president Chris Cooper, says it plans to launch Repower 4 later this year.