SOLAR CITY: Powersmart Energy Efficiency worker Michael Qualmann and Lismore City Council environment strategy officer Anton Nguyen discuss plans to harness solar energy at the Memorial Baths. GSAC and the East Lismore Sewerage Treatment Plant will go solar next under the community solar investment plan.
SOLAR CITY: Powersmart Energy Efficiency worker Michael Qualmann and Lismore City Council environment strategy officer Anton Nguyen discuss plans to harness solar energy at the Memorial Baths. GSAC and the East Lismore Sewerage Treatment Plant will go solar next under the community solar investment plan. Marc Stapelberg

Eco-conscious investors wanted for Lismore solar farm

FORTY community investors are being sought to secure Lismore's renewable energy leadership position by backing Australia's first ever council-operated and community-funded solar farms.

To be launched on Thursday, the Lismore Community Solar project includes two 100kW solar farms at Goonellabah Sports & Aquatic Centre and the East Lismore Sewage Treatment Plant. It is an initiative of Lismore City Council and Farming the Sun.

It is intended for the solar farms to be funded by up to 40 impact investors (20 per solar farm) by way of a loan to Lismore City Council. The council will in turn purchase the solar farms and repay the investors with interest for a period of seven years followed by a 'bullet' repayment of capital.

Two proprietary companies will be established as investment vehicles for each 100kW solar farm, raising the community capital through a local impact investment share offer.

Investors will be asked for an in-principle pledge rather than any money straight up.

Farming the Sun's Adam Blakester said: "This model is simple and low-risk with clear results, which is attractive for local government because it provides surety for the community and for investors. We are launching an innovation in how councils and community do business, with both financial and clean energy returns."

The project is part of Lismore City Council's commitment to be the first regional council in Australia to reach a 100% renewable energy supply by 2023.

The official launch event will be held at the Lismore Workers Club on Thursday at 5.15pm. Investors can pledge online at Farming the Sun or with the project's Coordinator Susanna Carpi on 0401 956 710.

 

COULD YOU BE AN INVESTOR?

Investing in solar farms is rewarding for those who:

  • Are inspired by local, ethical, responsible and fossil fuel free investments
  • See themselves taking on, or building upon, a high profile leadership role in renewable energy
  • Are inspired by local, ethical, responsible and fossil fuel free investments
  • Want to leverage the significant public profile of these projects to further build community capacity and engagement throughout Lismore and beyond.

The group is also seeking community members for directorship roles.



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