A solar garden project which aims to give Northern Rivers residents access to renewable energy for the first time is now on offer.
The joint project between Pingala, Community Power Agency and Komo Energy, claims to be an Australian first.
Haystacks Solar Garden co-organiser, Kim Mallee, says ‘A solar garden is like a community garden, but instead of growing veggies, members get to make their own electricity’.
‘A solar garden will be built on the edge of the regional town Grong Grong in the NSW Riverina area.
‘Households who can’t put solar on their own roof can purchase a “plot” in the solar garden and have the electricity generated from their portion provided as a discount on their electricity bill.
‘While Riverina locals will have first option to the solar garden plots, all NSW residents can participate’, Kim says.
‘Anyone who can’t put solar on their own roof can finally join the renewables revolution and receive the benefits of solar energy’.
No installation needed
‘As the solar panels are not on your home, it avoids the hassles of installation and maintenance, and if you move, the benefits move with you’.
She adds, ‘With over one third of Australians locked out from the benefits of rooftop solar, because they rent, live in an apartment or have an unsuitable roof, a solar garden is an innovative solution to ensure everyone can join in the clean energy revolution’.
The team behind this project say they have been developing solar gardens concepts since 2014, and ‘are part of a broader effort across the community energy sector to make solar gardens a reality in Australia’.
Kim says, ‘The project will become one of the first community-led solar gardens Australia, leading the way for future projects’.
The Haystacks Solar Garden is supported by a grant from the NSW government’s Regional Community Energy Fund.
Register at www.haystacks.solargarden.org.au/updates.