4. Camden

Solar panels on roof of Camden Community Centre

Project 4: Camden Community Centre, SA

Camden Community Centre worked closely with local residents for many years and included a child care centre, men’s shed, an op shop, and a community garden. It provided lunches and activities for the elderly and hosted a range of classes and activity groups.

Project story…

A CORENA loan funded a solar installation for their main building and another one and some energy efficiency measures for the child care centre in May 2015, but unfortunately the entire centre folded in early 2019. At that point $7,805 of their $17,900 loan was still outstanding. Loan repayments stopped during the winding up process and handover to new NFP owners, but as per our loan agreement, we received payment in full of the remaining amount (plus interest on the amount owing during the delay period) after handover in October 2019.

We were sad to see such an old established community centre fold, but the unscheduled lump sum repayment has already been put to good use in helping to fund three 2019-20 projects: Woden Valley Child Care Centre, Ballina-Byron Child Care Centre, and Tarremah Steiner school.

See what has been achieved via the CORENA loan to Camden Community Centre so far

* The MWh figure is the amount of grid electricity avoided by solar electricity generation and energy efficiency measures. The resultant reductions in carbon emissions can be visualised as an equivalent number of average households switching from grid electricity to 100% renewable electricity, noting that the subsequent projects have been avoiding grid electricity for less time than the original project.

This project has been fully funded- Thank you!

Progress bar showing $3,119.45 in loan repayments and $14,780.55 in new donations

Honour roll

Thanks to all the people who have donated to this project.

Donations directly to this project:

Big Win donations that were temporarily used for this project then later repaid to the Big Win funding stream where they helped fund the Enova Community Generator project:

Status: Funded project – loan fully repaid
Loan amount: $17,900
Loan repayments: $673/quarter

Loan repayment table - loan fully repaid

Work details

7.8kW Solar PV installed on 2 separate circuits with 30 x 260W Trina Honey panels with Enphase micro-inverters ($14,250)
2 x input-output meters ($1,300)
Electrical upgrade work required in order to enable solar installation ($2,000)
LED lights and downlight covers to replace 4 existing downlights ($350)
Total cost: $17,900
Expected savings: 11,731 kWh/year, $2,692/year

Reduction in carbon emissions/yr: Equivalent to 2.11 average households using renewable electricity instead of grid electricity

Note: The cost of this project was high for a 7.8kW system due to several atypical factors. It is really two separate systems, one for the child care area and one for the main office area, meaning two new input-output meters were required. Micro-inverters, which make the project a bit more expensive, were used so that the inverters are well out of reach of the children, and some extra electrical upgrade work was required to enable solar to be installed. Despite this, we expected the project to pay for itself in 6.9 years.


Thanks to Tom and Rachel of Down to Earth Sustainable Solutions. They provide environmental and energy efficiency services in SA, and generously volunteered their time to assess requirements, seek quotes, and organise work details for this project.