Built on a foundation of trust and shared value, we seek to develop relationships with communities that create enduring and positive impact. Here are some of the things we are doing at New England Solar.
- 200k already invested through Uralla Grants to community groups, businesses and organisations through the stewardship of a Community Reference Group
- $7m in community funding to come through ACEN Australia’s Social Investment Program (SIP).
- Stage 1 built using 80% regional workforce
- Solar panel rows and heights allows for grazing to co-exist
- 1.5% of project value commitment to First Nations participation being delivered through contracting, employment, training and business innovation
- 20% of project working hours commitment to Learning Worker participation to be delivered through traineeships and apprenticeships
- 39% of project value target local content for construction materials from Australia or New Zealand
- Addressing housing affordability and availability through an adaptive management plan for worker accommodation
- Commitment to prioritise the participation of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to deliver goods and services
- Commitment to product stewardship through environmental and social procurement that encourage circular economy outcomes
- Commitment to responsibly decommission all project infrastructure at the end of project life
Social Investment Program
We are continuing our support of the New England region, with more than $7M to be invested. It is our voluntary contribution to help build and maintain thriving and resilient communities.
The ACEN Australia New England Social Investment Program (SIP) will be active from 1 January 2024. Funding is allocated for the next 25+ years. Initial funding for three years will be administered via two streams, and reviewed thereafter.
Learn how the Uralla Grants program has been helping the community
First Nations participation
New England Solar is being built with the support of the Anaiwan First Nations people who have been a part of the project since it began. Just as the Anaiwan people have been doing for thousands of years, today ACEN seeks to harness the sun’s resources using new technologies, providing meaningful opportunities for First Nations to participate in, and share in the benefits that Australia’s growing renewable energy industry offers.
What started in 2018 as a process to support the NSW Government Aboriginal cultural heritage assessment requirements, a partnership between ACEN Australia and the project’s Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs) has evolved. It represents a shared respect for a long term relationship that extends beyond the immediate need for protection of country, and towards a partnership that fosters building cultural knowledge while providing meaningful opportunities for Aboriginal groups to economically participate in the project, creating benefits for generations to come.
The expected peak construction workforce for New England Solar Stage 2 is 400 and we have a workforce accommodation strategy with the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) to limit the impact on regional housing availability and affordability.
ACEN Australia seeks to reduce the impact on short term stay accommodation in the New England region as part of the construction of New England Solar. If you have a property available for rent, we would be be interested in hearing from you. Please register your details and they will be provided to our contracting partners.
Jobs and business
We have a commitment to employ and buy locally where we can so we can keep the benefits local. With such a significant construction investment, it is anticipated that there will be many opportunities for regional businesses to be involved. Goods and services likely to be procured locally include:
We use an EPC contracting model to construct our projects. To register your interest in employment or to supply goods and services for the construction of New England Solar, please provide your details for forwarding to our EPC contracting partners.