Solar Power Quadruples

Solar Power Quadruples – Stage 2 Launched


The Solar New England Region Project has achieved a significant milestone with nearly 160 home owners now signed up to go solar – nearly quadrupling the amount of grid connected domestic solar systems in the Region.

“At the time we launched the Solar Region Project there were 56 domestic grid connected solar systems in the region” says Adam Blakester, Convenor of the New England Sustainability Strategy. “Adding these 160 systems will nearly quadruple the total number of systems for the Region.”

The ultimate goal for the Project is 400 grid connected solar systems across the Armidale, Guyra, Uralla and Walcha area – a 600% increase in the level of installed domestic grid connected solar power with a total budget of $6m.

“It is especially inspiring to see that the take up has come from right across the Region,” continues Blakester. “There are solar systems going into rural and rural residential areas such as Kentucky, Invergowrie and Yarrowyck, plus large levels of take up in urban areas such as Uralla and Armidale.”

The New England Sustainability Strategy has now launched the Stage 2 Offer, making available a further 100 systems available to the community. The first 150 systems taken up were from a pre-launch offer of 50 systems (which sold in less than a week) and the Stage 1 Offer of 100 systems.

“We are very pleased to have negotiated with equipment suppliers and installers to be able to continue to hold the solar system package at the same super low price,” adds Blakester.

The Solar Region Project works on a model of large scale 'clustering' of purchasing and installations, saving home owners nearly 60% when compared with regular retail prices. A fully installed solar system starts from $2,440*, which also includes an energy audit and meter.

The solar project is the first major initiative of the New England Sustainability Strategy (NESS) and fits within the New Energy Future strategy working on the shift to renewable energy for distributed and local energy for the region while also addressing risks such as climate change and rising prices of coal and gas based energy. NESS is a collaborative whole of community approach to addressing sustainability led by a dozen professionals and organisations called the New England Sustainability Strategy Executive (nicknamed NESSiE).

Capacity building in areas of sustainability skills and services has been another key part of the Solar Region Project. More than ten local tradespeople have received training in solar system installation, a new Solar Loan has been launched to further help home owners access this offer, and the inclusion of a powerful energy meter with every system helps home owners manage energy use.

“For households with incomes below $100,000,” continues Blakester, “now is the best time to go solar and receive the $8,000 Australian Government rebate which ends on 30 June 2009.”

  • Conditions Apply. To sign up for for full details about the solar system package and conditions go to or contact Adam Blakester on 6775 2501.
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