After discussion with members, CORENA has temporarily lent $25,000 of the Big Win solar thermal project funds to the revolving Quick Win community solar funding pool. This money will be returned to the Big Win fund as soon as we are ready to start a Big Win project.
This strategy was devised as a means of honouring our committment to put all funds to good use within a reasonable time frame, but to do so in a way that ensures the funds will be available to help fund the Big Win solar project when needed, as the Big Win donors intended.
The first loan of $7,000 represented all the contributions made to the Big Win solar project fund up to June 1, 2014. Thus, the ‘oldest’ contributions in the Big Win fund are already reducing carbon emissions via the Quick Win project cycle. This loan had the additional benefit of speeding up funding for the Camden Community Centre solar project.
We later lent another $7,000 of Big Win funds (funds donated between June 1 and September 15, 2014) to our 5th Quick Win solar project at Nannup, WA. For our 6th Quick Win project, at Ravenshoe, Qld, we lent just $1,000 (funds donated September 15-19, 2014) since this is a relatively small project.
When these loans need to be repaid to the Big Win fund, the quarterly repayments from all completed Quick Win projects will be used to repay the Big Win funds rather than helping to fund whichever Quick Win community solar project is current at that time.
It might be tempting to lend all the Big Win funds to speed up funding of Quick Win projects in this way, but if we lend too much of the Big Win funds we risk not being able to return the money quickly enough when it is needed for a Big Win solar project.