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Bright future for Aro Valley community centre

May 12th, 2014 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

Aro Solar team fundraisers at the Aro Valley fair.

Soaking up the Sun: Aro Solar during their fund raising campaign.

ARO VALLEY is to be the first community centre in New Zealand to be powered by the sun.

After a month-long fundraising campaign by local group Aro Solar, the idea is  to become a reality.

Co-founder of Aro Solar Louise Sherrell says she was thrilled to get the project across the line.

“It’s amazing to facilitate lots of people coming together over an idea and doing something positive,” Ms Sherrell says.

Aro Solar is part of Wellington City Council’s Smart Energy Challenge which promotes sustainable energy projects in Wellington.

The council was prepared to match Aro Solar’s fundraising efforts dollar for dollar if they reached their target of $4500 which they did on Wednesday.

The group now has $9000, which will cover the costs of the panels, installation and a display unit.

Despite the fact they reached the target this is is not the end for Aro Solar.

“What’s next is a lot of reflection, and then getting together as many people possible who have been involved in the project and nutting out where to from here,” Ms Sherrell says.

Part of the council’s deal to provide funding for the project was to ensure that the group carried on working with similar projects in Wellington.

“We could be seeing solar panels on community buildings and all sorts of other industry by the end of the year,” Ms Sherrell says.

Despite the many challenges faced, Ms Sherrell says it was the concept itself that was the biggest challenge.

“The idea of crowd funding to put solar panels on a community building, to my knowledge, has never been done before. So dealing with the new concept and trying to explain it to ourselves as well as other people was really difficult.”

Although there is no official installation  date  yet, the group has planned a celebratory party for all their donors.


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