Billen Cliffs Hall solar installation
The Owners Corporation applied to the Department of Environment,
Water, Heritage and the Arts under the Solar Homes and Communities
Plan (SHCP) for a rebate to install a grid-interactive solar power
system on our community hall. The application was successful and
the department funded half the cost of the system.
The system was installed on Monday 14th September 2009
and consists of:
6 x 175W solar panels (1050W total)
• 1 x grid-feed 2kW inverter
• Framing, circuitbreakers, wiring, labels etc.
The system will generate about 1706 kW hours per year
and generate RECs to an estimated value of $840.
(*The system has been upgraded - it has six more panels and deep
cycle batteries are planned for a later date.)
The total cost of the system installation was $13,442 and was performed
by KS Solar of Kyogle.
majority of houses on this community are already solar powered,
being without grid access. Now the Owners Corporation has installed
a grid connected solar system at Billen Cliffs Community Hall so
that we can not only meet our own needs but feed power back into
the grid at times of surplus. In this way we can further promote
renewable energies and model good citizenship to the wider community
in relation to our own power consumption.
The project was undertaken at Billen Cliffs Village, a rural Strata
Plan of 115 units of 2 acres each, at the crossroads of the towns
of Lismore, Kyogle and Murwillumbah in northern NSW. Our community
hall is nearing completion and is currently connected to 240v mains
power. As the Hall will be made available for use to the wider community,
the Hall has now been accepted onto the Lismore City Council historical
listing. We are the only Hall in 20 km radius and we believe the
Hall will be well used by the local community.
balance of funding for the solar system has been raised by the Owners
Corporation by AGM resolutions and levy contributions as part of
our 50-year plan.
The hall will soon have an interim Development Application approval
allowing events to be held in the Hall.
Our installers will provide ongoing technical support. The Executive
Committee of the Owners Corporation will provide long-term administrative
support, report-backs, and conduct ongoing promotions and publicity
etc. A separate Hall management sub-committee will provide day-to-day
strata plan’s interest in solar power to date has been high
with most dwellings already operating on stand-alone solar systems.
There has been a high level of community interest and support for
the installation of solar power at the Community Hall. On-site displays
and community forums will provide educational facilities to the
wider community regarding renewable energies and set an example
The system will be used to take advantage of the north facing roof
aspect of the hall to supplement/replace the Hall’s demand
for electricity use. General operations will require use of power
tools, lights, audio-visual equipment, refrigerators, computers,
other office equipment etc. When not in use for community events,
it will daily generate power back into the local electricity grid.
Our strata plan is unique in the world, and was founded as a ‘Solar
Village’ almost 30 years ago. Our online presence showcases
our ideals for a sustainable community and self-sufficiency to the
world. Our central location between the towns of Lismore, Kyogle
and Nimbin makes us accessible to a wide rural audience interested
in solar power generation. The Larnook Primary School is located
only a few kilometres away and will be welcome to use our facilities
for educational and/or fundraising purposes. The use of the hall
will also be made available to the wider community for similar purposes.
Billen Cliffs attracts many eco-tourists and visitors each year
and many of these visitors will be able to use the Hall for education/information
and to use computers and charge devices etc.
most residences at Billen Cliffs Village already operate on independent
solar systems, by installing a grid-feed PV system on the roof of
the community hall, our community buildings will also be solar powered,
and supply power back into the local power grid – potentially
a lot more than we use. By being an entirely solar powered village
we can demonstrate how a strata plan can benefit from PV systems
and energy efficiency, while continuing towards our goal of a zero
carbon footprint and being a globally recognised, ecologically sustainable
village. The increased distribution of grid-feed solar systems will
contribute to a lowering of consumption of coal-fired power generally
and encourage a reduction in energy use.