COMMUNITY organisations across the Riverina and Central West are set to share in a $5 million national program providing funding for small-scale solar energy generation and storage projects.

Riverina MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said that under the Solar Communities Program groups could apply for grants of up to $12,500.

“Grants can be used to fund new solar PV, solar hot water and battery systems,” Mr McCormack said.

“Solar systems can generate electricity during the day and battery systems can store electricity to run lights, refrigeration and air conditioning systems at night.

“I know some community groups who work hard to make life easier for others are struggling with energy bills.

“They want to convert to solar energy but don’t have the resources.”

Each electorate around Australia can receive funding for up to four projects.

Expressions of interest (EOI) in the Solar Communities Program are now open and should be returned to Mr McCormack’s office as soon as possible before 22 March 2019.

An EOI form can be obtained by telephoning Mr McCormack’s Wagga Wagga office on (02) 6921 4600 or emailing

To be eligible for funding you must be a community organisation which is a legal entity and able to enter into a grant agreement with the Commonwealth.

Your organisation must be the one which pays the power bills.

If you do not own the building in which you operate you must be able to gain consent from the owner to make modifications or installations to the building.

If the building is under lease the lease agreement must be a minimum of 10 years, or provide information as to how long you have occupied the premise and from whom.

Mr McCormack said the Solar Communities Environmental Program was part of the Government’s $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Package, which will ensure Australia meets its 2030 emissions reduction target through practical measures which reduce emissions, improve energy efficiency and improve the environment.

Shane Manning