Local community energy company Enova has received a thumbs-up for its new ‘solar garden’ plan from none other than Mark Butler, the Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy.
Mr Butler, together with state Labor candidate for Ballina, Asren Pugh, visited Enova Community Energy’s Byron Bay headquarters yesterday (Tuesday June 12) and commended its ‘ground-breaking solar garden project’.
Put simply, a ‘solar garden’ is a collection of individually owned solar photovoltaic panels grouped together on a single site. The income earned from the panels goes into the pockets of their owners.
The whole site will be managed by Enova Community Energy and the power generated sold locally.
Enova is urging Northern Rivers businesses and individuals to get behind the plan.
Mr Butler said he was ‘excited to support innovative projects like Enova’s Solar gardens’.
He added it would ‘make an important contribution towards reducing carbon emissions and transition to a clean energy future, in addition to allowing access to the benefits of solar for renters.’
Asren Pugh said he’d been ‘a long-time supporter of Enova’.
‘It is a company looking at innovative ways to make renewable energy more available throughout the community, while encouraging the Northern Rivers to help power itself. This in turn helps keep money within the region that would normally be spent with non-local energy retailers. In the process it’s helping create local jobs.’
Enova Community Chair, Alison Crook AO, said ccommunity solar gardens are ‘a solution for Northern Rivers businesses and individuals who want clean, solar energy but currently can’t install it where they live. They may be renting, have a rooftop that doesn’t get much sun, or live in an apartment block’.
‘The existing energy generation model is changing, and this is just one example of a cooperative model that puts energy production into the hands of the community and decentralizes the supply of energy,’ Mrs Crook said.
Each member of the garden can have one or more kilowatt of solar panels and they receive a solar credit on their electricity bill for the renewable energy it generates. Plus, membership is portable – if you move house, provided you stay an Enova Energy customer, your account comes with you. For more information on how you can become a member call Enova on (02) 5622 1700.