Farming the Sun Fourth Wave: Community Notice

Community Information Sessions – Farming the Sun

Interested members of the community, local businesses and farms are invited to attend a series of free Community Information Sessions about the “Farming the Sun” community enterprise, coordinated by the New England Sustainability Strategy.

In the last 18 months there has been a large take-up of solar energy across the New England, particularly solar power and hot water, with some 200kW new solar power, more than 100 evacuated tube solar hot water systems plus 130 Sustainable Home Assessments.

More recently the first large solar farms have been installed, the largest to date being 10kW in size, and the first sophisticated systems using tracking systems that tilt the solar panels to follow the sun from dawn to dusk, increasing performance by 25-30%.

The reasons for this rapid community take up include:
Protection from rising electricity prices by producing energy on-site;
Shifting to renewable distributed energy and away from traditional centralised sources that are threatening water systems, agricultural landscapes and the climate; and,
Generating passive income and accessing rebates and other incentives.

While the incentives available have changed recently, and there is clear confusion about the current situation, there are compelling benefits to “farming the sun” for our energy that are still in place.

The Sessions have been designed to clarify these current benefits, as well as provide broader information about the role and importance of renewable energy to the sustainability of our Homes, Businesses and Region. Topics to be covered include current rebates and credits available, high quality technology options for solar power and hot water, Sustainable Home Assessments and details of the new NSW Solar Bonus Scheme that pays a premium rate for renewable power generated.

The times and locations for the four Community Information Sessions are:
Uralla 29 Mar 5.30-6.30pm, Uralla Community Centre
Guyra 30 Mar 12.30-1.30pm, Guyra Gala centre
Armidale 30 Mar 5.30-6.30pm Duval Seminar Room, UNE
Walcha 31 Mar 5.30-6.30pm, Walcha Motel

The Community Information Sessions are an initiative of the New England Sustainability Strategy and have been sponsored by New England Mutual, Southern New England Landcare, AusEnergy, GJ Gardner Homes and Endless-Solar.

For more details about Farming the Sun solar power, solar hot water or home sustainability assessments contact Liz Gardiner, Regional Coordinator, on 6778-7249 or go to www.ness.wikidot.com.

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