It is with great excitement we can announce that Manilla Community Renewable Energy inc. has been successful in achieving $46,000 in funding for a feasibility study thanks to the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. The funds are part of the Growing Community Energy scheme.
Our group will use the money to commission a feasibility study outlining how they can make the dream of a community owned solar farm and biodigester a reality.
The core component of the project is establishing a solar farm from which energy-intensive industries can purchase electricity. The concept was borne out of her desire to provide a reliable and cost-effective alternative to high-emission fossil fuels, such as coal and gas.
The residents, who are in the process of forming their own company, are hosting a meeting tomorrow for anyone interested in being part of the project.
Ms Stilts said locals could buy shares in the company, with the capital used to build the solar farm, and then receive a return on their investment.
“We’re hoping for a large turnout of people from Manilla, Tamworth and other areas in the region who are interested in getting involved in the renewable energy project,” she said.
Ms Stilts said the “missing link” in the fledgling scheme was securing a business partner, such as a dairy, chicken farm or water treatment plant, to purchase the electricity.
“There’s a lot of potential partners, and once this builds momentum the opportunities will become clearer to those businesses,” she said. “The feasibility study will work out how the economics of everything will work and how many investors we need.”
The meeting will take place at the Royal Hotel in Manilla from noon tomorrow.