AGL Energy Limited (AGL) today announced that seven local projects will share $25,000 from the first round of funding from the AGL Broken Hill Solar Plant Construction Community Fund.

Broken Hill Solar Plant Project Manager, Adam Mackett, explained there was a lot of interest for the first round of funding.

"We received 12 applications and these reflected the diversity of interests in the Broken Hill community. The successful first round recipients will receive full or part funding for their respective projects," said Mr Mackett.

Applications were reviewed and evaluated by the fund’s independent panel, consisting of members from the local community and the Broken Hill City Council.

"The assessment panel did a great job and gave each application full consideration," Mr Mackett said.

Projects to receive funds are:

Broken Hill Chamber of Commerce ($2,500) - to develop an online business and industry engagement survey and business directory for Broken Hill

Broken Hill Mountain Bike Club ($2,200) - to design and produce local bike trail maps

Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation ($2,000) – to purchase a marquee and food and drinks for Broken Hill NAIDOC week

Burke Ward Public School ($3,950) - to buy a set of outdoor bongo drums for use in the school’s outdoor music room

Lifeline Broken Hill ($4,500) - to paint the Lifeline centre’s training room and to buy new tables and chairs as part of the facility’s overall refurbishment

Broken Hill Art Exchange ($5,000) – to be used for the Community Solar Light art prize to be awarded at the three month ‘Solar to Earth, Air and Water’ community art event being developed

Patton Village Community Business Association ($5,000) – contribution towards entertainment set up costs for the Broken Hill Fringe Festival.

All parties will be presented with cheques at an afternoon tea event to be held at the Broken Hill Centre for Community on Thursday, 12 February, 2015.

AGL expects to open a second round of funding in September 2015. Information and application details will advertised locally media and published AGL’s website.

AGL is also hosting a community information session about the Broken Hill Solar Plant on Wednesday, 11 February 2015. This event is open to the public and will be held at the Broken Hill Centre for Community, 200 Beryl Street, Broken Hill, from 6pm to 8pm.

"Holding regular information sessions is an important part of AGL’s community engagement process to keep everyone updated on how things are progressing. I’d really encourage people to come along as it is a great opportunity to hear directly about what’s happening, what is planned, and ask questions about the solar project," Mr Mackett said.

AGL will deliver the 53 MW Broken Hill Solar Plant in partnership with the Federal Government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the NSW Government, the Broken Hill City Council, the local community and project partners First Solar.

About AGL:

AGL is one of Australia's leading integrated energy companies and largest ASX listed owner, operator and developer of renewable energy generation in the country. Drawing on over 175 years of experience, AGL operates retail and merchant energy businesses, power generation assets and an upstream gas portfolio. AGL has one of Australia's largest retail energy and dual fuel customer bases. AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro, wind, landfill gas and biomass. AGL is taking action toward creating a sustainable energy future for our investors, communities and customers.

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