Community Benefit Sharing Initiative
UPC wants to be part of the Uralla and the New England communities for the long-term and to contribute to the future vitality and success of the region.
We hope that the solar farm will become an important part of Australia’s clean energy future and a valued project for the local community. For the planned 600 to 800MW solar farm, this means somewhere between $150,000 to $200,000 per year for 25 years. This money could go towards funding (e.g. grants, sponsorship, scholarships), partnerships with important local groups or projects, in-kind contributions, education and tourism initiatives, and much more.
UPC sought guidance from the local community about how these funds could create positive, lasting and meaningful impact for the Uralla region.
We established a Community Reference Group to help develop a Community Benefit Sharing Initiative and recommend the principles and mechanisms the initiative should use to evaluate projects proposed for funding by the community.
The reference group includes local residents and business owners representing a range of demographics and interest groups.
It was independently chaired by the Community Power Agency, a not-for-profit organisation that specialises in working with local communities and renewable energy projects.
The final recommendations from the reference group have now been included in our final proposal to be considered by the NSW Department of Planning and the Environment.
You can download the New England Solar Farm Community Benefit Sharing Initiative Fact Sheet here
You can download the New England Solar Farm Community Benefit Sharing Initiative media release here
Other Community Benefits
The project will provide a number of other benefits including:
Direct and indirect business opportunities for the local and regional economy, potentially including equipment suppliers, contractors, labour hire companies, accommodation providers, eateries and fuel suppliers etc;
Employment opportunities, with up to 500 employees needed during the construction of the solar farm which will run for a period of 36 months;
Additional jobs are likely to be created if a battery energy storage facility is also built within the same timeframe;
Helping meet the NSW and Commonwealth government renewable energy targets;
Annual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and generation of enough clean renewable electricity to power up to around 250,000 NSW homes; and
Increasing energy security by replacing ageing fossil fuel generators when they retire from service.
Supporting the Community
We are proud to be supporting a number of other important community and sporting organisations across the region. This includes the:
Uralla Cricket Club
Can Assist Uralla
Uralla Rugby Club
Uralla Netball Club
Uralla Tennis Club
We have also provided a $10,000 donation to the Need for Feed Disaster Relief program being run by the Lions for drought affected farmers in NSW and across the region. You can find out more about this very worthy cause here.
Since May 2018 we have held several public meetings in Uralla where we have presented information on the project and had many productive conversations with members of the community. Find out when our next community meeting will be here.
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