Cooperatives are democratic organisations and all members have an equal say in taking decisions.
Established in October 2012 by a small group with great enthusiasm for renewable energy, community power and the power of cooperatives, the Central NSW Renewable Energy Cooperative Ltd. (CENREC) was created with the primary intention to facilitate a community purchase of one of 40+ wind turbines in the proposed Flyers Creek Wind Farm to be located between Orange and Blayney.
Once the project is approved for construction, CENREC will seek to expand its membership to raise the money required to effect this purchase.
As stated in our Rules, our objectives are:
(a) to own in part or full, renewable energy generators and associated infrastructure;
(b) to facilitate and advocate for the generation and uptake of electricity from renewable energy sources;
(c) to facilitate local uptake of renewable energy; and
(d) to establish and maintain a Community Projects Fund and administrative structures to facilitate the Co-operative providing funding for selected community projects for the benefit of communities in Central NSW.
The Co-operative Model
CENREC received advice on a suitable corporate structure from Mattila Lawyers. The most appropriate corporate structure for a community renewable energy project will depend on the particular project and requirements of the intended members for that project. The CENREC model meets the following requirements in assessing the legal suitability of an ownership structure:
- Is it incorporated to ensure the limited liability of its members?
- Does it have flexibility to allow incoming and outgoing members?
- Does it have established corporate governance procedures and oversight by an established regulator (e.g. ASIC or the NSW Registry of Co-operatives)?
- Does it have the ability to distribute income to its members or on the direction of members?
- Does it have a clearly defined structural aptitude to meet the financial requirements of the proposed asset over the lifetime of that asset?
- Does it have clearly defined (tried and tested) taxation position with the ATO?
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