A solar initiative new to the Highlands could save businesses hundreds of dollars each year.
Repower solar systems are funded by community investments for small to medium sized businesses.
In most cases there is no upfront cost to the host business.
The business agrees to buy the power the system produces for a set period of time, which is usually 10 years.
The cost of this is usually lower than what they would already pay for grid power.
Repower then gives the buisness the solar system at the end of the contract.
Ogden Timber and Hardware was the first business in the Highlands to install the solar power system after Repower expanded into the Highlands.
Andy Lemann and Miles Lochhead are the Repower Solar Mentors for the region.
Mr Lemann said Ogden Timber and Hardware would save about $926 per year for the first 10 years and $5,538 a year after that.
He estimated it would be a saving of $89,000 over the 25 year expected life of the system.
Ogden Timber and Hardware owner Steve Pullbrook said it was great to be involved in a community initiative.
“They made it easy for us to understand, it had all the right credentials and so it was easy for us to make a decision. It will help the environment and they do all the work,” he said.
“It’s a local thing and that’s why we’re happy to be a part of it.”
Any problems with the system will be fixed by Repower.
“The bonus is the fact that we eventually own it [the system] and have even bigger savings,” Mr Pullbrook said.
Mr Lemann said the community investors would make a decent return on their investment supporting a renewable energy project and helping a local business.
“We are doing this because we believe it's a good thing for the local community, a good thing for the host businesses, a good thing for the investors and a good thing for the environment.”
Visit https://www.repower.net.au/southernhighlands.html for more details on Repower in the Southern Highlands. Repower was started in 2013 in the Shoalhaven area and has so far held three investment rounds and funded a total of 219kW of solar systems.