Media Release Solar New England Region Project Launched

Media Release

10 December 2008

Large Scale Solar Project Launched

A large scale whole of community installation of domestic solar power systems was launched today by Richard Torbay, member for Northern Tablelands, who was also the first resident to sign up for the scheme.

“I am please to launch the Solar Region Project which is of significant benefit to the community and the environment,” says Richard Torbay. “With a very successful pre-launch campaign more than 80 people have already signed up for solar, which signals that the scheme is well on its way to reach the goal of 400 solar systems for the New England.”

The Solar New England Region Project is the first major initiative coming out of the New England Sustainability Strategy, and involves a major installation of 400 grid connected solar systems to homes across the Armidale, Uralla, Guyra and Walcha region and. The total Project budget is $6m.

“This Project uses a ‘community clustering’ model to achieve significant reductions in the price of solar systems for householders,” says Adam Blakester, convenor of the New England Sustainability Strategy. “For households entitled to the Australian Government rebate these savings can be as much as 60% of the average retail price.”

The 'community clustering' model involves community networks and organisations working together and a substantial team of Partners have already joined the Project, including:
The New England Credit Union have launched a new 'green' Solar Loan enabling zero deposit purchases for new and existing members
TAFE New England Institute are providing training and accreditation
Southern New England Landcare and the New England Sustainability Strategy are promoting the scheme to the members and networks

The highly affordable pricing is achieved by clustering together installations, buying systems in bulk, utilising rebates and working with local organisations and networks to promote the project.

The Solar Region Project is administered by AusEnergy – a national solar power company experienced in community clustering projects.

“AusEnergy have been extremely pleased with the community response,” says Jamie Reardon, Managing Director of AusEnergy. “The pre-launch offer was fully subscribed in only 5 days and the support of so many community partners makes the project goal of 400 systems achievable.”

The Solar Region Project will also leave a lasting legacy for the community and region, with 1% of the project budget to be donated towards further work on the New England Sustainability Strategy.

New England home owners interested in the solar system package can find out more at www.ausenergy.com.au or contact Adam Blakester on 02 6775 2501, 0419 808 900 or ten.yalpmgidarap|mada#ten.yalpmgidarap|mada or Jamie Reardon 1300 785 009, 0427 085 009 or ua.moc.ygrenesua|eimaj#ua.moc.ygrenesua|eimaj.

Media Contact | Convenor | Adam Blakester | 02 6775 2501 | 0419 808 900
An initiative of the New England Sustainability Strategy (n·e·s·s)
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