By Evelyn Leckie

A FIRST Nations owned solar power system will deliver clean energy to the Victorian Government while providing returns for the Taungurung Land and Waters Council in Broadford who has invested in the project.

Community energy company Indigo Power announced the new milestone for community renewable energy at the beginning of NAIDOC week.

The renewable energy site will be located at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s Broadford office on Taungurung country.

Taungurung Land and Waters Council invested in the 17kW 50 solar panel project which will contribute to 30 per cent of DELWP’s energy requirements while selling electricity back to the community at a reduced cost.

Indigo Power will operate the system for 10 years and after that, the community energy company will transfer ownership of the renewable system back to Traditional Owners at no extra cost.

Indigo Power managing director Ben McGowan said the benefits of community solar spill over to the whole community. 

“We are so pleased to announce our partnership with the Taungurung Land and Waters Council at the start of NAIDOC week,” Mr McGowan said.

“It demonstrates the opportunities that renewable energy and new energy models have for communities. It is another sign that North East Victoria is a community renewable energy powerhouse. 

“Indigo Power is a certified social enterprise. We’re committed to projects that deliver renewable energy outcomes, while ensuring the benefits are kept right here in regional Victoria. 

Taungurung Land & Waters Council chief executive Matthew Burns said the partnership has given the group an opportunity to look for further investments within the renewables sector.

“It will also mean we have a capable partner to rely upon to help Taungurung achieve not only a financial return, but importantly a social return as well,” Mr Burns said.