A pre-feasibility study for a medium-scale community-owned rooftop solar farm in inner Melbourne is being finalised by Victoria’s Yarra Climate Action Now (YCAN). YCAN is an independent community group based in the inner Melbourne suburbs of the City of Yarra.
The group will be holding a forum concerning solar projects on Saturday May 19th at 11am at the Athol Gill Centre, located at 100 Hodgkinson Street, Clifton Hill. Special guest speaker at the event will be Adam Bandt, MP.
Under the proposal, the community will provide the funds to buy and install the solar panels. An agreement will be formed with the owner of a large rooftop area to host the system. The rooftop owner will purchase the electricity generated by the system and the community investors will receive an annual return.
In the UK, a co-operative approach to going solar is already common where green economy co-operatives are the most rapidly growing part of the UK co-op sector; jumping 24% since 2008. Dozens of initiatives that are similar to what YCAN’s Energy Working Group is proposing are already successfully established or under way in Britain.
Solar group buying is another form of community collaboration for going solar that is growing in popularity in Australia.
By collaborating with others within a local area, a solar buyers group can provide increased buying power and savings. Nearly a hundred solar projects, mainly solar power systems, have been installed by in the town of Mallacoota alone based on a solar buyers’ group model.