A proposed community owned solar farm in the Majura Valley is set to go ahead after securing its last bit of funding via a loan from a renewable energy developer.
The $2.8 million Solarshare farm managed to raise $2.36 million from more than 400 Canberrans after calling for investors last year.
The ACT government only allowed Canberrans with registered addresses in the ACT to invest in the farm.
Solarshare chair Nick Fejer said the company secured the final bit of funding from an $800,000 loan from developer CWP Renewables.
Construction was set to begin as early as August, opposite Mount Majura Vineyard.
"We are wildly excited," Mr Fejer said. "We would have got the capital, it was just a question of how long we wanted to wait.
"This was an easy way for us to finalise it rather than continue to raise shareholder money for another three to six months."
The one megawatt farm is expected to generate enough electricity to power 260 homes, making $360,000 a year and preventing 1700 tonnes of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere.
Solarshare allowed Canberrans to buy shares in the farm and received dividends from the energy sold back into the national energy grid.
It originally had 284,800 shares available, with a minimum investment of $500 or 50 shares at $10 each.
The company estimated a return of about $1.16 a share in the first financial year of operation, 2020-2021.
Mr Fejer said the interest rate on CWP's loan could possibly mean shareholders made more of a profit.
He said Solarshare didn't expect to make a lot of money for themselves.
The project was partially pitched to renters or apartment owners unable to install their own solar panels, who could invest in renewables and offset their own energy use.
It's also the ACT government's most expensive investment in renewables, with the government subsidising the farm via "feed-in tariffs".
The government would subsidise the farm $195.60 per megawatt hour for 20 years, with the farm expected to generate between 1800 to 1900 megawatt hours a year.
This allowed the farm to sell into the energy market at a rate of at least 19.5 cents per kilowatt hour, with any difference made paid to the ACT government.
While community owned solar farms were popping up across Australia, Mr Fejer said the Mount Majura farm was the largest in the country.
"The first project of this size would have been difficulty without government assistance," he said.
Mr Fejer said once the farm was completed, the company would look to begin their next round of projects.
CWP chief executive Jason Willoughby said the company had previously made commitments to the ACT government to support renewable investment.
The government contracted CWP's Sapphire wind farm in NSW's northern Tablelands, as part of its commitment to offset 100 per cent of the ACT's energy use with renewables by 2020.
Mr Willoughby said the Solarshare farm was an attractive opportunity.
"We think the process is quite innovative," he said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.