Solar Cash For QLD Community Groups Up For Grabs

Community solar grants in Queensland

Grants of up to $50,000 for community-based action on climate change provide an opportunity for the installation of solar power systems and battery storage at community facilities in Queensland.

On Friday, Queensland Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon announced $1.2 million would be made available through the Palaszczuk Government’s Community Sustainability Action grants program for community-based projects reducing emissions and building resilience.

Among eligible activities and projects is the installation of solar power systems up to 30kW capacity on community facilities, plus battery storage. The grants can also go towards supporting existing renewable energy systems in community facilities, such as switchboard or wiring upgrades.

As electricity is a major expense associated with running many facilities, the installation of solar panels can free up significant funds that can be routed into other activities. For example, a 30kW solar system installed in Brisbane could generate an estimated 49,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year.

Other energy efficiency related items eligible for grants include solar hot water systems, high-efficiency whitegoods, lighting, blinds, skylights, double-glazed windows and shading infrastructure.

Properties that won’t be eligible for grants for PV systems and energy efficiency items are those owned by the Queensland Government or the Commonwealth Government. For energy efficiency items, grants also won’t be available for Local Government Authority (LGA) owned community facilities, except where the eligible applicant is able to provide evidence of their right to occupy the site.

Getting Quotes

For solar power system grant applications, applicants will need to provide a couple of electricity bills; with one covering the summer season. Two quotes from Clean Energy Council accredited retailers/installers will also need to be provided, showing projected energy savings, switchboard or wiring upgrade costs where these will apply, network connection costs, plus delivery and installation costs.

According to the eligibility guidelines, quotes must be provided by Clean Energy Council (CEC) Approved Solar Retailers, but it’s worth noting this isn’t necessarily a guarantee of a quality installation. Community groups wanting quotes from thoroughly pre-vetted installers can do so through the SolarQuotes quoting service – but first check out the program guidelines.

With regard to batteries, systems will need to comply with the Clean Energy Council’s Battery Assurance Program – and SQ can help out in that regard too in terms of organising quotes.

Under the Palaszczuk Government’s Community Sustainability Action grants program, more than 400 projects have shared in $17.5 million since it kicked off.

“I’m keen to see as many groups put their hand up as possible and really build on the significant efforts already underway as part of our Queensland Climate Action Plan,” said Minister Scanlon. “Plenty of these projects will also have the opportunity to utilise local businesses and contractors, continuing our plan for economic recovery.”

Further details can be found here and applications close 4pm Thursday 28 April 2022.

Aside from this initiative, community groups in Queensland and across Australia are also eligible for Australia’s solar rebate, which can knock thousands off the up-front cost of installing panels.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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