Moreland Council to Support Community Solar

Week Two Tutorial Exercise.

Moreland City Council will request support for community solar projects from Victorian Minister for Industry, Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio.

The decision comes after Moreland resident Linda Parlane asked council to write to the State Minister at a meeting earlier this month.

Parlane questioned the councillors’ awareness of the “major barriers” blocking the development of the Moreland Community Solar project, including a “costly” license to sell electricity.

Council voted to request the State Government free community groups from paying for an electricity sale licence which Parlane said would assist the Moreland project’s development.

It will also ask the State Government to establish a fund to kick-start Victorian community solar projects.

The Moreland Community Solar Farm is an initiative of Climate Action Moreland.

Residents will be able to invest in community owned roof-top solar rather than pay for solar panels on their own roof under the initiative.

The energy developed from the solar farm will be sold to the business hosting the panels and profits will go to investors.

Climate Action Moreland said the project will reduce greenhouse emissions and increase awareness about solar energy.

A community solar plant may soon be established at a former timber mill in the Macedon Ranges.

The Andrews Government granted $100,000 to the project in February.

An Essential Research survey revealed 57 per cent of participants thought rooftop solar projects had not received enough Federal Government support.

The Abbott Government banned the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) from investing in small scale solar technology like rooftop solar panels earlier this month.

One third of the CEFC’s funding was previously spent on small scale solar projects.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the CEFC should be focussing on “emerging technologies”.

“It is our policy to abolish the CEFC, because we think that if the projects stack up economically, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be supported in the usual way,” he said.

Shadow Environment Minister Mark Butler said it is “embarrassing” for Australia Tony Abbott is a “climate sceptic”.

“Tony Abbott is broadening his assault on renewable energy technologies, putting thousands of Australian jobs and billions of dollars in investment at even further risk,” he said.

The Coalition has also directed the CEFC to stop investing in wind power projects.

The government cut the nation’s 2020 renewable energy target from 41,000 gigawatt hours to 33,000 before the CEFC directive.

Abbott said wind turbines were “visually awful”, “ugly” and “noisy”.

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