We have received the following from Embark.
With the price of solar falling rapidly, it’s exciting to see number of communities around Australia exploring the feasibility of community solar. Ranges Energy has already set up a community energy co-operative and are continuing to look for a viable site. Climate Action Moreland held their first public meeting to discuss community solar in March 2012. Yarra Climate Action Now are running a public community forum on Saturday 19 May from 11am-1pm in Clifton Hill. Locals Into Victoria’s Environment (LIVE) have been meeting with Port Phillip Council to discuss a potential community solar farm for the new roof going on the South Melbourne Market.
A range of other community organisations and councils are also seriously exploring the feasibility of community solar including Adelaide Hills, Campbelltown and Victor Harbor Councils in South Australia, Hobart City Council in Tasmania, North West Renewable Energy Community Group in Mildura, GV Community Energy in Murchison, Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC) in Alice Springs and SEE-Change in Canberra.
Embark believes there is enormous potential for wide-scale deployment of community solar, however a number of barriers still need to be addressed. To make solar viable at community-scale, Embark is developing the basic tools and templates that groups and councils will need to develop their projects. We’ve built a basic financial model that groups can adapted to suit your specific circumstances. Contact Taryn Lane via email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to learn more.
Over the next 12 months, we will be working on a set of legal templates (constitution, lease agreement, power purchase agreement, share offer document) and a streamlined accounting solution that will help to dramatically reduce the legal and compliance costs. We will keep you updated on our progress as we develop these tools so let us know if you’re thinking about your own community solar initiative.