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Byron Shire
December 6, 2022

Power to the people and the Bowlo

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Dave Rawlins (COREM), Bec Talbot (Enova Community), and Bowlo Board members: Atosha Clancy, Ian Holden, Ian Dall, Beck Harwood, Chris Watson (general manager) and Rowan Keast. Photo supplied.

The Bangalow Bowling and Sports Club, a.k.a the Bangalow Bowlo, is the most recent community organisation to benefit from a no-interest loan scheme for solar.

The Bowlo’s solar installation is the latest project by Community Owned Renewable Energy Mullumbimby (COREM), who have been fundraising to install solar panels on community buildings since 2016.

The funds enabled the Bangalow Bowlo to install an additional 13.5kW of solar taking its system to 28.5kW.  

Club vice president Atosha Clancy says the Bangalow Bowlo is a community-owned club. ‘This project not only increases our investment in renewable energy, but it saves money on our power costs. Dollars saved means more dollars that can be invested back into the Bangalow community, through sponsorship of our local sporting clubs.’

127 kilowatts of solar PV for 12 community associations

Project organiser Dave Rawlins says that in just over four years, at a cost of over $110,000, COREM have funded a total of 127 kilowatts of solar PV for 12 community associations.

‘COREM’s Revolving Community Energy Fund pays for the solar installation upfront. The community group who receives the solar panels then pay back the cost, interest-free through the savings generated by solar power. Funds are returned to support more community organisations to install solar panels.’

This project was a community collaboration. It has been funded in partnership with COREM, Enova Community and Splendour in the Grass via their Green Ticketing Offset and was installed by Matt McGarry from local company, MTS Solar. 

Enova Community Manager Bec Talbot says revolving Funds like COREM’s are the gift that keeps on giving. ‘The Bangalow Bowling and Sports Club helps bind our community together via its community-based ownership and sports sponsorship. Enova exists to support community energy projects like this.’

Community organisations interested in going solar can apply for COREM funds at corem.org.au.

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