In the NSW town of Manilla, local community group – Manilla Community Renewable Energy Inc, (MCRE) in partnership with Providence Asset Group, (PAG) a leading Australian investor in renewable and clean energy projects, are celebrating the recent approval of the Development Application (DA) to begin construction of 4.95MW solar farm in early 2021.
The Manilla Community Renewable Energy Inc. group’s president Emma Stilts is quoted; “After such a trying year, this is such welcome news. This project is what our community needs. Local investment in renewable energy infrastructure. This project is an example of energy transition that future-proofs regional NSW and shares the benefits with local people”
Providence Asset Group Chief Technology Officer, Llewellyn Owens, said the Manilla Solar Farm was the groups signature project of its 28-site portfolio of community solar initiatives to be rolled out across regional NSW.
“We are thrilled our Manilla solar project has been approved by Tamworth Regional Council and the Regional Planning Panel and it’s great to see this project moving in the right direction. Our team has worked hard to ensure that any concerns raised by community members and Council were addressed and the positive result now means we can begin construction early next year” Llewellyn said.
“These projects are designed to benefit local communities with the offering of cheaper, greener electricity, local economic development”.
The project is an example of how community and business can work together for mutual benefit. In 2019 MCRE joined forces with Providence Asset Group to deliver the Manilla Solar Project. Earlier this year, the project was successful in receiving a $3.5 million grant from the NSW Government’s Regional Community Energy Fund. Along with the solar farm, the grant will support the second stage hydrogen energy storage component of this project.
The construction process will provide local employment and supply opportunities through an application and tender process.
MCRE President, Emma Stilts, agreed it was an exciting milestone for the project to have the DA approved and breaking ground in early 2021 will be great for the community to see the project start to take shape.
“We are encouraging community members and business to prepare to invest in the project. Investment in the Manilla Renewables Co-Op will open in early 2021. This project offers local people a chance to be part the solution – supporting low carbon energy production that sells cheaper power to local people. It also provides a fair return on investment and shares broad economic returns.’
MCRE is also excited to announce Renewable Manilla, a three day event to be held in October 2021. “A festival of ideas and creation around renewable energy, art, technology and sustainability. It is a chance for us to showcase the beautiful township of Manilla, whose dreams of a brighter future are becoming a reality and we want to inspire other communities to do the same” Emma said.
Providence Asset Group has also recently celebrated other DA approvals for similar projects including the Guyra Solar Farm within the Armidale Regional Council as well as their Finley project within the Berrigan Shire Council in the Riverina. Llewellyn said “We hoped to be able to deliver even more great news to our investors and the communities in which our projects are located with more DA approvals in the coming months.”
For interview requests please contact Emma Stilts on 0407 435 585 Steve Badgery, Providence Asset Group, on 0421 003 081
About Providence Asset Group
Providence Asset Group are an innovation-driven investment firm, investing in and managing multiple assets in renewable energy, venture capital, clean technology and eco-friendly real estate. Providence invest by following a patient and disciplined investment approach. Our projects and funds are purposefully chosen to drive long-term societal value and attractive returns for our fund investors. Providence value collaboration as a key component of business transformation, growth and success. Providence have developed a wide range of strategic partners and capabilities across multiple sectors who are leaders in their fields of expertise, including a five-year joint initiative with UTS to establish a co-branded AI, Data Science-based Smart Future Research Centre. Providence also have a 10-year joint collaboration with UNSW founding the New Energy Industry Research Centre. Visit www.providences.com.au for more information.
About Manilla Community Energy Inc.
The Manilla Community Group formed in 2013. The group is made up of volunteers from the Manilla Community who support energy transition in the face of dangerous fossil fuel expansion across the North West. The project is culmination of years of volunteer work from the local community group, who have been supported by the local CWA, Rotary, Lions, SES, The Men’s Shed, Sailing Club, View Club and Landcare groups of Manilla and Tamworth. It is an endorsement of local people working together to build a brighter future.
The Renewable Manilla Festival is supported by the Foundation for Regional and Rural Renewal. For more information please visit www.renewablemanilla.com.au/