A proposed solar farm that would help subsidise heating costs for low income earners in Flaxmere has passed its next milestone.

The project, Power to the People, is seeking a $500,000 from Hawke's Bay Regional Council as part of its Sustainable Homes programme.

The council's Environmental Solutions Committee received a paper about the funding at a meeting on Wednesday.

It agreed to recommend to the full council it fund the project.


This will be subject to council seeing a full business case and debt security.

In total the project is aiming to raise $2.7 million, with $2.2 million through grants and the $500,000 worth of debt from HBRC.

It hopes to help 1500 people in 400 low income homes in Flaxmere.

The group has also approached other organisations for funding including Hastings District Council and the Provincial Growth Fund.

The project is being run through St Andrew's Church in Hastings, but manager Chris Lambourne confirmed during the meeting people did not have to be Presbyterian to take part in the programme.

"It's aimed at people who have health issues, people who are in social need who are receiving social benefits."

He said the current Sustainable Homes programme is aimed at homeowners and excludes renters.

It would be set up as a charitable trust, which means it could not be sold to a power company at a future date.


The vote to recommend funding the programme was unanimous.