Launch Of Solar Farming In The New England

Launch of Solar Farming in the New England

The highly successful Solar New England Region Project has moved to a new level today with the launch of the Solar Farming community enterprise by Tony Windsor, Federal Member for New England.

“Farming the sun is key to our future,” said Tony Windsor. “Accessing affordable and renewable energy is one of the most significant challenges facing business, agriculture and home owners. This innovative community enterprise is making solar farming for power and hot water more affordable, easier to understand and simpler to do.”

“Solar Farming describes the collection of sun to create electricity and heat water”, said Adam Blakester, Convenor of the New England Sustainability Strategy (NESS). “There are now substantial up-front financial incentives to go solar, especially for small businesses and farmers putting in large solar systems and using the Australian Government 50% Investment Allowance which ends on 31 December 2009.”

Information was presented at the Launch for small businesses, farms and residents regarding the significant financial and environmental advantages of farming the sun for energy. Solar power systems are available from 20% below standard retail and solar hot water systems from 30% below standard retail.

The wide range of financial incentives and bonuses available to residents and small businesses are: NSW Solar Bonus Scheme paid for surplus (net) electricity exported back into the grid from 1 January 2010; Solar Credits on the first 1.5kW of new solar power; rebates for converting from electric to solar hot water; and Renewable Energy Certificates. Small businesses are also eligible for an extra 50% Investment Allowance tax deduction.

“This Solar Farming initiative will further build our vision for a Solar New England Region”, continued Blakester. “During the last year alone there has been a doubling of grid connected solar power, 180 plus solar hot water systems ordered and the building of our green collar industry with more than $½m in local installation work, training and new solar companies opening up.”

The New England Sustainability Strategy have developed the Solar Farming initiative as a community enterprise being for 'purpose' rather than for 'profit' and supported by a partner network. This approach achieves a high level of affordability particularly through the buying of
systems and equipment in bulk, clustering of installations and free promotion via the partner network and word of mouth.

The Project Partners include AusEnergy, Endless-Solar, Southern New England Landcare, New England Credit Union, Talloires Declaration Implementation Committee and Pete Arkins Creative Media.

New England business, farmers and residents can find out more and sign up by calling Liz Gardiner, Regional Coordinator, on (02) 6778-7249 or going to www.ness.wikidot.com.

Media Contact | Convenor | Adam Blakester | 02 6775 2501 | 0419 808 900
New England Sustainability Strategy (n·e·s·s)
www.ness.wikidot.com

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