The Goulburn Community Energy Cooperative has been established specifically to build and operate the solar farm./ We are seeking investors to help finance the project, supported by a grant from the NSW Government.
The total cost of the original project with small battery was $4,204,420, of which the NSW Government grant is 50%: $2,101,211. The revised cost with the large battery is approximately $5.1M. There may be possible variance to the final cost due to freight and supply issues arising during 2022/3
The substantial NSW Government grant significantly reduces the risk profile of the project and at the same time buttresses the project by effectively doubling the value of investor contributions and enhancing the return on investment. Each dollar investment is effectively worth two dollars in equity in the project.
The increased size of the battery also reduces the risk of poor pricing during the middle of the day when other solar farms may depress the wholesale price. Storing the energy when the price is low and re-selling at higher prices at the end of the day reduces risk.
How much will a solar farm earn?
To quote our development partner Komo Energy, “It is difficult, maybe impossible, to predict the future wholesale prices in the NEM.” Each state is different, but NSW is the most promising for solar at the moment. Read a comprehensive assessment of the current situation in 2023 HERE.
Fair Trading have now (ie September 2023) indicated that there is no problem with re-opening the project to further investment. So if you are still interested in investing in the project, keep reading!
To invest in the project you must first become a member of the Cooperative and be willing to purchase a minimum number of shares as soon as your membership is approved by the Board (see the Q&A’s below).
There is a joining fee of $10 and an annual fee, payable in advance, currently set at $10. The Co-operative (“The Co-op”) cannot increase the annual fee without advising you first.
The minimum shareholding is 400 $1 shares – approximately the price of one solar panel.
The maximum shareholding is set by NSW Fair Trading (the government department with responsibility for the governance of the Co-op) and is 20% of the issued capital of the Co-op. As we are aiming to raise approximately $2,000,000 for this project, that equates to 400,000 shares of $1 each.
Even if we were legally permitted to do so, the Co-op cannot promise a rate of return because performance is all in the future. However, we are aiming to provide a commercial rate of return, hopefully between 3% – 6%. One of the benefits of a Co-op structure is that each year it is the members who decide what the dividend will be and how often it will be declared, on advice from the Board. And remember, each member is entitled to one vote only, irrespective of shareholding.
Dividends will be paid by bank transfer into your nominated bank account and you will be sent a dividend notice to your nominated email address. It is important to notify the Co-op if your details change.
If you want to leave the Co-op you must sell or transfer your shares to someone else. The committee may be able to help you find someone willing to take your shares.
Your shares will be transferred to your legal personal representative (the executor of your estate) to be dealt with in accordance with your will.
If you do not do so for 3 years and we do not know where to find you, we may cancel your shares.
The Co-op will set aside a percentage of its profits each financial year to be applied to charitable purposes within the community. We will be working with local charitable organisations to ensure such support stays within the community and focuses on energy poverty. You can also direct us to apply your dividends to our nominated charity and you will receive both a dividend advice and notice of the donation. More information on the Community Fund can be found HERE.
How to invest
It’s a three step process:
- Read the documents so you are familiar with the information: THE FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE STATEMENT HERE, the Supplementary Information Statement HERE, and the Rules of the Co-op HERE
- Fill in and email the MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION FORM* of the Co-op. (You must indicate the level of investment you will be making). You will need to pay a membership joining ($10) and annual fee ($10). We will send you the details.
- Once you been approved as a member, we will send you an Investment Application form with the details on how to transfer your investment to the Co-op.
This document does not provide investment advice. Applicants for membership and shares should seek their own professional investment advice. To the extent that information in this document constitutes financial product advice, it is general financial product advice only and provided only by the Co-op. The Offer does not consider a Recipient’s individual investment objectives, financial situation, and needs (including financial and tax issues) as an investor. It is important that Recipients read the entire Rules, the Disclosure Statement and the Supplementary Information Statement, and carefully consider their investment objectives, financial situation, and needs (including financial and tax issues) and seek appropriate professional advice before deciding to apply for membership and shares.
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