Tathra: Australia’s first community solar farm

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The solar farm at Tathra. Credit: Clean Energy For Eternity.

Australia’s first community owned solar farm was opened at Tathra on Tuesday, and its creative design also makes it the nation’s first solar sculpture.

The panels are arranged to form the word IMAGINE, giving inbound aircraft passengers a special treat as they approach Merimbula, and a new look for the coastal village on Google Earth when the satellites next pass overhead.

The solar farm’s 120 panels were funded by the community, along with an annual donation from the Tathra Mountain Bike Club’s annual Enduro Mountain Bike Race, and matched by Bega Valley Shire Council. The mountain biking mecca is now well on the way to reaching an energy target of 50/50 by 2020, a vision of local orthopaedic surgeon Dr Matthew Nott, who founded Clean Energy For Eternity in 2006.

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IMAGINE, and they did! On the beach in 2006. Credit: Clean Energy For Eternity.

Back then, over 3000 people joined together to form the word IMAGINE on the famous Tathra Beach.  It sparked the community’s support and now every community building is powered by renewable energy. That includes pre-schools, churches, Rural Fire Service sheds and more. Energy from the farm will power around one third of the town’s sewage treatment plant, and the savings will go back into a funding pool to buy more panels.

Read the Bega District News story here.

More on Tathra here.

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