Temporary loans of Big Win funds

Temporary loan of Big Win funds to Quick Win projects – now fully repaid

After discussion with members, CORENA temporarily lent $25,000 of the Big Win project funds to the revolving Quick Win community solar funding pool. Due to a lull in demand for funds for new Quick Win projects, in March 2017 we were able to use loan repayments from completed Quick Win projects to repay the entire $25,000 loan back to the Big Win project fund.

This strategy was devised as a means of putting Big Win funds to good use within a reasonable time frame, while not actually ‘using up’ the Big Win funds so that they can eventually be spent on Big Win projects as the Big Win donors intended.

The $25,000 loan of Big Win funds helped fund five Quick Win projects: Camden, Nannup, Ravenshoe, Yackandandah Health, and Tastex.

That $25,000 achieved 16.45kW of solar PV and energy efficiency equivalent, and by March 2017 had avoided use of around 31MWh of grid electricity, a figure that will continue to grow over time. What’s more, since loan repayments from those five Quick Win projects have already helped fund more projects, that $25,000 has already achieved $30,799 worth of climate goodness. Even though the $25,000 has now been repaid to the Big Win fund, the Quick Win revolving fund is $5,799 richer for temporarily having had use of those funds.

Loan of Big Win funds to Enova Community

In March 2017 we collaborated with Enova Community, the non-profit arm of Enova, to enable them to become an electricity generator. We have used Big Win funds to give them a $19,613 interest-free loan to enable Enova Community to install solar PV as a tiny electricity generator on the roof of the Enova premises. The output will be bought by the Enova retail arm to sell to their electricity customers.

This loan will be fully repaid to our Big Win fund in five years. Once again we are helping to achieve something that otherwise would not have been possible, without our funds being ‘used up’.

Breaking the landlord-renter split benefit impasse

We are currently developing a landlord-renter project in partnership with ZNET Uralla. The aim is to overcome the ‘split benefit’ hurdle that too often prevents solar installations and energy efficiency measures for rented homes. We plan to use Big Win funds to offer interest-free loans to make this possible, with loan repayments going back into the Big Win fund.

This will temporarily tie up some Big Win funds, but we think this project will represent a big breakthrough in one of the toughest areas to reduce carbon emissions – a ‘big win’ in terms of impact if not in size. Details coming soon.