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ClearSky Solar Investments (CSSI) is an innovative volunteer-run investment group on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. In the ten years since their founding, they’ve financed over 80 renewable energy projects.


Back in 2013, when the solar energy movement was just gaining momentum, Smart Commercial Solar Founder Huon Hoogesteger helped establish ClearSky with the goal of making solar power more accessible and affordable for businesses. The volunteer-run group's mission was straightforward: to connect community investors directly with businesses looking to install large, high-quality solar systems. 

This week, as ClearSky celebrate their 10th birthday with an event at 4 Pines Brewing on Sydney's North Shore, we're reflecting on the impact the group has had on communities, businesses, and the environment. To date, they've raised over $25 million from investors, which has funded more than 80 renewable energy projects with a combined capacity of 18MW.

"When we started out in 2013, we never imagined we would be able to fund so many projects. Our investor pool has grown from a few of our friends to over one thousand – all by word-of-mouth. Many have invested in multiple projects," shared Warren Yates, one of the four volunteer directors of ClearSky.

ClearSky's approach has been defined by simplicity and transparency, making it easy for everyday individuals to invest in clean energy projects. But the impact of their initiatives extends far beyond mere numbers. By empowering businesses to transition to solar energy, CSSI has enabled them to reduce their carbon footprint while simultaneously cutting down on energy costs. This has tangible benefits for both the environment and the bottom line of businesses.

"It’s a win-win for investors, who receive a return on their investment while knowing they’re contributing materially to Australia achieving its carbon emission reduction targets," expressed Alison Edye, a recent ClearSky investor.

4 Pines Brewing Company is a great example of the transformative power of ClearSky's  approach. Through community financing, 4 Pines engaged both staff and customers in the journey towards renewable energy. Sarah Turner, the Environment and Social Impact Advisor at 4 Pines, highlighted the seamless fit of community financing for their solar system, enabling them to engage both their staff and loyal customers in the transition to renewable energy.

Smart Commercial Solar's partnership with CSSI has been instrumental in facilitating the transition to renewable energy for businesses of all sizes. By leveraging CSSI's financing model, clients of Smart have been able to enjoy immediate relief from excessive energy costs without the need for upfront expenditure.

"At Smart Commercial Solar, we're proud to have played a part in ClearSky's journey, working closely to fund commercial and industrial solar projects across Australia," remarked Huon, our Founder and MD.

As ClearSky celebrates its 10th anniversary, it serves as a testament to the power of community-driven initiatives in driving positive change. Together, we can continue to build a brighter, cleaner future for generations to come.

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Written by
Smart Team

The Smart Marketing Team

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