Tathra Community Solar Farm – IMAGINE generating clean and green, renewable power!
In 2014 Bega Valley Shire Council (Council) formed a partnership with Clean Energy for Eternity (CEFE) to develop one of Australia's first community solar farms. CEFE is a local not-for-profit registered organisation which has had a national reputation for championing the role of community action to tackle climate change. Through organising multiple events and broader community engagement, CEFE has raised money over many years for local community organisations (e.g. RFS fire sheds, community halls, churches, surf clubs, preschools and a tourist venue) to install solar PV. To further this work CEFE approached Council to develop a joint venture which could be a beacon to other communities around Australia for climate change action. By combining passion and expertise, the Tathra Community Solar Farm project was conceived, built and opened in 2015. The project captures financial savings and reinvests these in other local solar projects - creating a win:win:win for CEFE, Council and the local community.
The project has received fantastic support from the local community and various organisations. Community donors, including local business, helped raise valuable funds for the project, while the Tathra Mountain Bike Enduro event provided significant support and funding to make the project a reality. The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage assisted and Bega Valley Shire Council contributed half of the project cost and project managed the design and construction.
The TCSF won a prestigious NSW Green Globe award in 2015 for Excellence in Leadership and Innovation – Climate Change.
Image: Prue Kelly, CEFE; Daniel Murphy, BVSC; Matthew Bell, Ernst & Young – photo OEH