Applications For Synergy’s 2019 Community Solar Fund Close Soon

Synergy community solar

Image: Synergy

Community groups in Western Australia only have until Sunday, March 31 to lodge their applications for Synergy’s 2019 round of its Community Solar Fund.

In order to be eligible to apply, a group will need to be an entity that is a registered charity, not-for-profit or community group and must have premises located within Western Australia’s South West Interconnection System (SWIS)1. Applicants must also have an account with Synergy that either does not expire before 30 June 2020 for the premises, or is extended or renewed to expire after 30 June 2020 before applications close. Further eligibility details can be viewed here.

The systems are from Synergy’s SolarReturn range, which feature Hanwha Q-CELLS or LG solar panels and Enphase, SolarEdge or Fronius solar inverters (microinverters in the case of Enphase), so it’s good quality gear.

Winners of the 2018 round and the systems provided were:

  • Ngala Community Services: 80.19kW
  • Homestead for Youth: 6.48kW
  • Abmusic: 10.8kW
  • Dog Refuge Home WA Inc Shenton park: 26.46kW
  • St Vincent De Paul Busselton: 10.8kW
  • Margaret River Community House: 19.98kW

Ngala certainly did well from the program last year – its 80kW system is expected to save the group $20,000 in its first year. We won’t be seeing systems that big from this round as according to Synergy, the maximum size of any system awarded will be 30kW.

Further details on the Community Solar Fund can be found here.

National Solar Communities Program

Another solar funding program for community groups, this one available nationally, is the national Solar Communities Program. It offers grants of up to $12,500 each for small-scale solar power system and storage battery projects. There are four grants available for each electorate in Australia. The latest round is currently in the expression of interest (EOI) phase, which closes on the 28th of this month. To learn more about this program, you’ll need to contact your local Member of Parliament for details (and quickly).

It’s my understanding that EOI submissions will be considered by each MP in consultation with his/her community, and then projects nominated. Successful groups will then be invited to apply for a grant through the Australian Government Business Grants Hub when the program officially opens around June this year.

Footnotes

  1. The SWIS runs from Albany in the south to Kalbarri in the north and Kalgoorlie in the east, and includes the Perth metropolitan area.
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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