Solar PV and/or solar hot water on existing roofs, and simple energy efficiency measures, are the easiest components of a transition to 100% renewable energy. When most of the solar electricity is used on site, as it is with Quick Win projects, feed-in tariffs are not an issue.
Quick Win project funds provide interest-free loans to non-profit community organisations in all parts of Australia. The solar installation and efficiency measures cost the organisation nothing because they can easily pay back the loan over time out of savings on their power bills. Your contribution starts reducing carbon emissions relatively quickly, and once the organisation starts paying back its loan, your money goes straight into funding yet more Quick Win projects.
These community projects will eventually become self-funding due to the way the donated funding pool revolves. A funding pool of around $210,000 will fund one new community solar project every 3 months. If supporters continue to contribute till there is around $630,000 in the funding pool, that will fund one new project every month, forever. Click the headers below for details.
Who can apply for Quick Win project funding?
You can apply for for an interest-free Quick Win loan to pay for energy efficiency measures and/or solar PV and/or solar hot water if:
• you are a non-profit organisation providing some sort of service to the community
• you own or have predictable long-term use of your building(s)
• your roof is suitable for solar PV or solar hot water
• you use significant amounts of electricity during daylight hours OR a lot of hot water
• you are happy to help with some local promotion of the solar project
If your community organisation meets those broad criteria, please download the Expression of Interest form on the Quick Win project applications page. Your answers in this form will help us make an initial assessment of suitability, and the information in this form will help you decide if you want to proceed with a funding request.
What happens before a Quick Win project is funded?
The first step is to assess prior energy use, identify the most cost-effective energy efficiency measures, and determine the desirability and size of a solar PV or solar hot water installation. CORENA and the community organisation will discuss options and agree on what work should be done. You will obtain quotes from accredited solar installers for high-quality solar panels or solar hot water, and for any selected energy efficiency measures. CORENA will draw up a loan agreement stating the amount of the interest-free loan, the work the money will be spent on, and the loan repayment schedule.
After the above, there will be a delay while we wait for enough donations to come in to fund your community solar project. You will need to send us a ‘before’ photo of your building so we can display details of your project on the CORENA website. Initially your project will be displayed as a Queued Project, then as the Current Project, so that the public can see what their donations will help fund.
When we have enough funds for your loan, you can proceed with all the work detailed in the loan agreement, and send the invoices to us. You will also need to send us photos showing the completed solar installation and energy efficiency work (if any) for display in the Funded Projects section of the CORENA website so the public can see what their contributions have achieved!
If your group wishes to set up a similar revolving fund for community solar projects, we are happy to help with tips, so please contact us!
How Quick Win project donations revolve
As the initial projects finish repaying their loans out of money saved/earned by the solar panels, they’ll continue reducing carbon emissions for many years and new completed projects will begin making repayments into the funding pool.
For example, if we assume $20,000/project, loan repayments of $1,000/quarter, and 3 months to fund each project, at the point we fund the 20th project, the funding pool will consist of $210,000 in donations and $190,000 in loan repayments. The 21st project will be entirely funded by loan repayments from Projects 1-20. The 22nd project will be funded by Projects 2-21, and so on.
How Quick Win project donations grow
How Quick Win projects become self-funding
Assumptions: Each Quick Win project costs $20,000, there is one new solar project every 3 months, and loan repayments from each project are $1,000/quarter. This would mean the 20th project would be funded by $19,000 in loan repayments and would need only $1,000 in new donations, and the 21st project would be funded entirely by loan repayments.
In practice, most projects will cost less than $20,000 and the earliest projects took longer than 3 months to complete, so loan repayments from Project 1 will probably be finished before Project 20 commences, but the general principle applies.
Using the above assumptions, only $210,000 in donations would be needed for Quick Win community projects to become self-funding. That’s an average of $100 from each of 2,100 people.