Throughout 2012 and the latter half of 2011 local sustainability organisation SEE-Change and it’s renewable energy special interest group Canberra Clean Energy held workshops, talks, stalls and surveys to gauge community interest in different energy projects and researched a number of viable options for what could be achieved.

Following additional feasibility studies and contact with other community groups in different areas of the country, Canberra Clean Energy saw a practical way to work towards a community solar farm to be co-owned by members of the local area. The initiative was called SolarShare.

In the latter half of 2012 SolarShare formalized its governance and team structure to deliver Canberra’s first community owned solar farm.

This process has been adapted from the steps taken by Hepburn Wind and more recently Renewable Newstead:

  1. Project establishment
  2. Community engagement
  3. Feasibility study
  4. Form a company
  5. Capital raising
  6. Renewable energy asset

More information on formation of a community energy project can be found at Embark – a not for profit established to help community energy projects (www.embark.com.au) and the Community Power Agency (www.cpagency.org.au)