Starfish’s Farming the Sun initiative is one of six community energy projects in northern NSW who have been awarded grants by the NSW government.
State-wide, there were 19 projects which shared $846,000 in the latest round of funding to help advance local renewable energy projects, as part of the NSW government’s push to assist community energy projects.
Leslie Williams, the parliamentary secretary for renewable energy, says $40,000 will go to Starfish Initiatives to help build two 100kW solar farms as part of Lismore’s 100 per cent renewable energy plan. It is being hailed as the first council-community partnership in Australia to build a community owned and run, solar farm.
The $40,000 of seed funding is designed to help to raise investment from community financiers, who will manage the project with Lismore City Council and partner organisations.
$40,000 is also going to Nimbin Neighbourhood and Information Centre to help finance a small-scale bio-gas project in a local milk and cheese producing dairy farm, and create a business model for further development of two community-owned bio-gas hubs in Murwillumbah and Casino.
$15,000 is going to help Australian Radio Towers develop a wholly community-owned project to take the entire Tyalgum Village “off the grid.” Tyalgum has a population of 300 people.
And the town of Mullumbimby will receive $34,000 to develop a feasibility study for a crowdfunding platform to aid clean energy development in the region, including a planned 75kW community solar farm.