Australia’s largest solar project would be financed by ‘everyday investors’ in an exciting community initiative which will bring jobs, investment and solar power, through community involvement , to the Shoalhaven region.
Shoalhaven Heads Bowling and Recreation Club has launched on online campaign to raise $119,800 for the almost 100kW community-owned solar power system.
Installation of what will be Australia’s largest community-owned commercial solar system is set to begin now that the Shoalhaven Heads Bowling and Recreation Club signed off on the 99kW project.
The project, dubbed Repower One, is being driven by Repower Shoalhaven, a community group formed last year to spearhead the south-coast NSW town’s transition to sustainable energy systems.
Locals are now being invited to register their interest in the project. Repower is calling for an upfront investment of $5,990 per shareholder, for a 3.96kW share of the system. The rate of return projected for investors is 6.5% per annum, over a 10-year period.
Ultimately, the plan is for 80 per cent of the rooftop solar system to be funded and owned by community shareholders, with the remaining 20 per cent to be owned and funded by the Club. The Club will purchase the electricity from the solar power system, ensuring investors a healthy revenue stream, and at the end of the 10-year term, the bowling club will be ‘gifted’ the system.
In 2009, archaeologists working in the heart of Berlin excavated the foundations of what is thought to be one of the city’s first churches, St. Peter’s Church, built in the early 12th century, in what is now the Petriplatz area. The church was destroyed during WW II and in its aftermath. The site where the once-grand Romanesque building stood is now little more than a wasteland—but that is set to change.
Due to the religious significance of the site, city planners asked local Protestants if they would like to be involved in the site’s redevelopment. But representatives of the Protestant community thought that another church was not necessarily the way to go.
What emerged instead was the the —an idea for a new building hosting a church, a mosque, and a synagogue—all under the same roof. If all goes according to plan construction will begin next year and the doors will open in 2018.
Each religion will have its own practice space, all equally sized but with different designs. There will also be a central room connecting the prayer rooms and providing an area where Christians, Muslims, and Jews can all meet, along with those of other faiths.
“We can see all over the world that faith can divide people,” said Markus Dröge, a Protestant bishop in Berlin. “We want to show that faith doesn’t divide Jews, Christians, and Muslims, but instead reconciles them.”
Find out more at House of One
A community retailer offers energy to local customers at competitive rates, supports local renewable generation and allows residents to participate and own the business. It is similar to a normal retailer which sells electricity and issues bills but differs in where the electricity comes from and who shares in the ownership of the retailing entity. Examples are common overseas but not yet tested in Australia.
To kick start this initiative a call for tenders to develop a business plan will be announced in August, with the plan to be developed by mid 2015. The business plan will need to provide a fair price for renewable generation matched to local demand, create local enterprise and provide energy security for the Northern Rivers. The plan will also address how a community retailer could help overcome structural and economic barriers to regional renewable energy.
The project is led by the Total Environment Centre together with a consortium including Starfish and Southern Cross University, Sustain Norther Rivers (Energy Working Group), NSW Trade and Investment, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and the North Coast Energy Forum.
Funding has been secured for the preparation of the business plan to be accompanied by an application to the regulator for a retail licence, with the expectation that a retailer could be up and running within 12 months.
The timing of pursuing a Community Energy Retailer for the Northern Rivers is linked with Australia’s highest residential and business uptake of Solar Pv, Lismore City Council’s 100% Renewable Energy Master Plan and strong community support ~ particularly evidenced by the North Coast Energy Forum and Sustain Northern Rivers.
Media coverage of the launch:
Community energy retailer to take on Australia’s big three | REnew Economy
People power takes on big energy retailers | Echonet Daily
The first draft of ISO’s standard for sustainable communities has been released for comment.
ISO 37101 sets out the requirements, guidance and supporting techniques and tools for sustainable development in communities.
The standard provides a management system for sustainable community development by a local organisation. In this way the ISO is about the development processes and methods rather than the many attributes needing to be addressed for a community to be sustainable, such as energy, local-ownership, food or transport (for example).
To quote: “This international standard is intended to help Communities become more resilient, smart and sustainable, through programs, projects and activities, demonstrate their achievements and better communicate them.”
It is designed to enable communities to manage their sustainability, smartness and resilience, improve the contribution of communities to sustainable development and assess their performance in this area.
‘Community’ is defined as being a: “Group of people with shared interests, experiences and values, and with an arrangement of responsibilities, organization and relationships and identifiable objectives. Such a community may not be in the same locality.”
Further, the ISO “… establishes the requirements of a management system for sustainable development, smartness and resilience of communities, taking legal and other requirements and relevant information into consideration, in order to:
The Committee Draft stage is the first consultation in the development (or revision) of an ISO standard, meaning ISO members that have chosen to participate in the development of the standard have until the 26th of August to comment on it. Final publication is set for 2016.
Find out this and much more in this video interview with Bernard Leservoisier, Secretary of the technical committee working on this standard.
Click here to purchase a copy of ISO 37101.