The public appetite for community funded renewable energy appears to be limitless, with projects proving so popular they are selling out within minutes of being offered to investors.
The latest initiative — a massive solar panel system on top of a wholesale bakery in western Sydney — saw people flocking to invest.
Within six hours, 20 investors had pitched in almost $400,000 to install a huge 230 kilowatt solar system on the bakery’s roof.
The project has been set up by volunteer-run ClearSky Solar Investments.
Here’s how it works
![Solar panels on the roof of a Sydney factory](http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/8476984-3x2-700x467.jpg “Aerial shot of Bakers Maison” =700x467)PHOTO: A huge 230 kilowatt solar system will be installed on the Bakers Maison roof. (Supplied)
The company Bakers Maison will pay investors for the solar energy it uses over a period of between seven to 10 years. The investors get a 7 per cent return on the money they put in.
After that time, the business owns the panels and will use its energy for free.
“There’s a huge appetite out there for people to invest in renewable energy, we just need more projects,” ClearSky director Warren Yates said.
![Pascal Chaneliere, Bakers Maison](http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/8478986-3x2-340x227.jpg “Pascal Chaneliere, Bakers Maison” =340x227)
PHOTO: Pascal Chaneliere says getting involved in community solar was the smart thing to do. (ABC News: Amy Bainbridge)
Bakers Maison employs 120 people and runs every day of the year, baking and freezing French-inspired products that are sold to all corners of Australia.
“We are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in utility bills,” general manager Pascal Chaneliere said.
The bakery already had a 100 kilowatt solar power system, which will now be bolstered by this new, much larger community project.
Mr Chaneliere said getting investors involved to help out with the costs of the new solar panels would help further reduce their bills.
“We signed a contract for the cost of electricity for the next coming years, so it makes a lot of sense. We know exactly what will be the expenditure for the next five years.”
Investor Andrew Rogers grew up in the same suburb as the Revesby bakery.
“I invested $20,000 into this one, it gives me a good rate of return, it’s nearly 7 per cent,” he said.
“At the same time as an investor I’m happy, I know the money is creating some good.”![Fresh bread sitting on racks at a wholesale bakery](http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/8476990-3x2-700x467.jpg “Baked goods at Sydney bakery” =700x467)
Or watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjBBODXKc68