A New England solar farm will grant the community of Uralla $100,000 this year, even before it generates power.
The $100,000 Uralla Grants program was formally launched on Friday, as part of a program to share the benefits of the New England Solar Farm with the Uralla Shire, Dangarsleigh and Kellys Plains communities.
Representatives from the local community and the New England Solar Farm were joined today by Uralla Shire Mayor Michael Pearce in a ceremony to mark the opening of applications.
Uralla resident Sandra Eady said the program is the first step in what will be an exciting range of initiatives, conceived and developed by the local community for the local community.
"Our community has faced the impacts of the drought, bushfires and now COVID-19 over the past 12 months. These grants will make a positive contribution back into our community."
Members of a local community reference group helped design the grants program and will oversee the final selection of successful applications.
Project developer UPC\AC Renewables Australia plans to develop Australia's largest solar and battery facility. The New England Solar Farm will have enough juice to power Armidale for four hours alone.
Head of Solar Development Killian Wentrup said they will donate $250 for every megawatt of power generating capacity installed at the solar farm every year for its 25-year working life
"The $100,000 Uralla Grants program will kick start that support in the first year of construction, which would ramp up to $180,000 per annum once the 720MW is fully operational." he said.
The solar farm and battery project will create as many as 700 construction jobs.