A NEW community energy project in Geelong has raised more than $150,000 from local investors in its first week since launching.
The clean energy project, named CORE Geelong One, will see a 156kW solar system installed at Multicultural Aged Care Services (MACS) in North Geelong.
The project is a first for Victoria, but demand from investors surprised even Geelong Sustainability, the organisation behind it.
“It’s an exciting project and our community-owned business model is a first for both our region and for the state, but we weren’t expecting the level of response we got from the community so quickly,” Geelong Sustainability project coordinator Dan Cowdell said.
“The project is a huge step forward when it comes to Geelong’s carbon emissions reduction – it will reduce carbon emissions by 210 tonnes annually, which is equivalent to planting more than 1,470 trees per year or taking 60 cars off the road.”
MACS, in North Geelong, will lease the solar system for 10 years and the lease fees will repay the principal investment plus interest to investors. At the end of the lease, MACS will pay one dollar and receive full ownership of the system.
Geelong Sustainability president Vicki Perrett said the demand for the project demonstrated how popular renewable energy was in regional Victoria.
“Back in 2014, the top response to a supporter survey identified the need for a bold renewable energy project in our region.
“After four years of research and development, we are very excited to witness the project’s immediate success. It’s a win-win-win project, delivering benefits for the aged care facility, for local investors and for the environment.“