Moreland Community Solar (MCS) is breaking new ground to establish community-owned solar farms in Victoria.
MCS became a registered Cooperative in 2014. But soon found that before they could run a community-owned solar farm in Moreland, Victoria’s electricity industry regulations had to change. They joined with other Victorian Community Solar groups to successfully lobby the State Government so that since December 2015 the Community Solar model can now operate legally in Victoria.
MCS has established a very active Board and working group and together they have developed a sound business model, a brand, and a website (www.moresolar.org.au).
As part of the Victorian Community Solar Alliance, MCS has recently received a grant to develop legal documents and a web portal to enable them, and Community Solar groups, to successfully run great local solar projects.
MCS is now looking for a local business or community organisation with the right roof for the first community-owned solar farm in Moreland.
When they find the right roof, MCS will raise funds from local member-shareholders and partner with the roof owner to install rooftop solar on their premises.
The roof owner will pay MCS a monthly amount for the solar power. The solar payments will repay local member-investors and also pay a modest dividend.
Once investors have been fully repaid, after about 7 years, the solar panels will be ‘gifted’ to the local business.
“Community Solar means renters & anyone without a roof or the money for a full solar system can invest in a local solar project.”