Business at the end of the rainbow

THE Nimbin Rainbow Power Company is celebrating 25 years of operations with a modest party at their Alternative Road building this weekend.

Formed in 1987 by a small group of dedicated activists, the company has become a success story - both for Nimbin and nationally. Dave Christmas said the company had made a big impact on the town.

"There are 20 employees spending their wages in town, many businesses are now using our products and significantly reducing their carbon emissions."

One of its more spectacular achievements has been the 45kW Solar Farm, installed on the rooftops of six community-owned buildings. It now generates power for the equivalent of 23 average households.

The solar farm, in conjunction with 55 grid-interactive solar systems installed in the village in 2008, effectively makes Nimbin one of the most energy conscious communities in Australia.

It created three permanent and three short-term jobs, one traineeship and five work experience placements.

The company exports around 30% of its products and services to countries in the Pacific region and beyond.

"It's been a long hard road, the state government's pulled the rug out from underneath us (by axing its Solar Bonus Scheme), but we've had to soldier on," Dave said. "We're lucky we own the buildings and we own the vehicles. It is a big achievement."

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