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Byron Shire
December 1, 2022

Lismore receives funds for energy saving projects

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Two solar farms and a bio-gas plant will be built in the Lismore area while a study will be carried out on how to take the entire Tyalgum village “off the grid.”

The energy saving projects are being funded as part of the NSW Government’s Growing Community Energy (GCE) grants.

NSW parliamentary secretary for Renewable Energy Leslie Williams yesterday announced that Lismore community groups would receive $95,000 for the three projects

Mrs Williams said that two GCE grants of $40,000 would be used to develop solar farms and a bio-gas plant, as well as a $15,000 GCE grant for a feasibility and technical study of how to increase Tyalgum village’s energy resilience through innovative technologies and solutions.

‘A $40,000 GCE grant from the NSW Government will allowStarfish Initiatives to build two 100kW solar farms – in partnership with Lismore City Council and community investment – which will produce enough energy to power the equivalent of 30 average NSW homes.

‘This will be the first Council-community partnership in Australia to build a community owned and run solarfarm, with the GCEseed funding helping to raise investment from community financiers, who will manage the project with Lismore City Council and partner organisations.

Mrs Williams said the second grant of $40,000 would assist Nimbin Neighbourhood and Information Centre to build a small-scale bio-gas project in a local milk and cheese producing dairy farm.

The project will be used as a business model for further development of two community-owned bio-gas hubs in Murwillumbah and Casino.

‘Bio-gas energy is not weather reliant and has livestock at its core to produce energy – a natural fit for farmers who run cattle, sheep, or other livestock on their farms.

‘These bio-gas projects are designed to demonstrate for rural communities that affordable renewable energy is at their fingertips.

‘Australian Radio Towers will also receive $15,000 to develop a wholly community-owned project to take the entire Tyalgum village “off the grid.”

‘Australian Radio Towers is an organisation with nearly 40 years of history in sustainability, alternative energy and technology research and development and is contributing substantial funds and in-kind support to the Tyalgum project, Mrs Williams said.

‘By building on the work in renewable energy already undertaken in the region, the grants will increase community owned, directed and managed renewable energy projects and increase local energy independence.’

Ms Williams said that the Lismore projects represented three of the 19 successful applicants from across NSW who would receive GCE grant funding worth a total of $846,000 for community owned renewable energy projects.

‘The GCE projects will have a combined estimated energy production of more than 60,000 megawatt hours per year – enough to power more than 9,000 average NSW homes a year,” she said.

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