Community solar project gets government grant

Natimuk
The sheer cliffs of Mount Arapiles in Victoria near Natimuk
Natimuk
Alizada Studios / Shutterstock.com

The Andrews Labor Government has announced it will provide the small wheat belt town of Natimuk with a funding grant of $339,000 to bring to market a 1.6MW community solar farm.

Natimuk Community Energy Inc intend to build a 100 per cent community-owned solar farm, which will be capable of producing the equivalent of the town’s annual energy needs – a huge step towards being greenhouse gas emissions free.

The project is entirely community driven, with Natimuk locals combining commercial viability, strong community participation and social equity to deliver clean, affordable renewable energy and increase energy security.

The grant will assist the project to finalise the necessary approvals, connection studies, develop detailed design and operational plans and develop a financial model and market prospectus to attract investment for the construction phase.

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This funding is being provided through the Labor Government’s $20 million New Energy Jobs Fund, which is supporting renewable energy projects by providing grants to companies and community groups.

These projects will give local communities more control over their energy use and costs while creating new jobs and delivering important social and environmental benefits.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said, “We’re working with communities like Natimuk to help them achieve their goal of moving to 100 per cent renewable energy.

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“Through this grant we are empowering the Natimuk community to fully harness the benefits of locally produced clean energy and cut their power prices.”

“By transitioning to renewable energy we are protecting our environment, supporting new industries and creating local employment, education and training opportunities.”