Community Benefit Sharing Initiative
Nominations are now open for a Community Reference Group (CRG) that will help establish and implement governance arrangements for a community program to be funded as part of the New England Solar Farm.
The New England Solar Farm Community Benefit Sharing Initiative (CBSI) was proposed by UPC Renewables Australia, as part of the community consultation program for the solar farm. The CBSI will share some of the revenue the project generates across the local area.
UPC Renewables will fund the program by providing $250 a year for every megawatt (AC) of power generating capacity installed at the New England Solar Farm over its 25-year working life. The contribution will start at $100,000 at the commencement of construction, if the project is approved by the Independent Planning Commission.
We recently decided to double the starting amount from $50,000 to $100,000 in year one to help provide more support to the local community during construction of the project.
We have been pleased to support several local charities and sporting groups over the past three years and the CBSI is a way for us to grow that support and achieve meaningful benefits for the Uralla Shire and nearby communities over the long-term.
It will build on the earlier work of a Community Reference Group that helped shape the proposed CBSI.
We are looking for local people with a broad mix of relevant skills such as legal, accounting and governance experience to help us develop the next phase of the CBSI. The CRG is particularly well-suited to nominations from people with a history of participation in activities and organisations that support the local community.
The CRG will help ensure the program is supporting a good mix of community focused projects via one off grants, scholarships or ongoing programs. We would like to establish the new CRG in time to consider the first round of community projects as soon as construction work commences in mid-2020.
Please use the form to submit your nomination. Make sure you include your name, contact details and a summary of your relevant experience, skills and qualifications.
For questions or more details please contact us on
For more information on CBSI you can download our latest fact sheet.
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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