Australia has a global reputation for having the highest rate of domestic rooftop solar installations. However, more than 30% of Australians cannot install solar energy on their roofs! The Solar Garden is a solution for those who feel locked out of solar power.
Previously a Solar Citizens team member, Kristy now leads the Community Power Agency (CPA). CPA has campaigned to support Solar Gardens. These allow access to distributed clean energy for those renting or living in an apartment.
“The concept is similar to a community garden, except instead of having a garden plot for vegetables you can’t grow at home, a solar garden sets up off-site solar plots and then provides a credit from the solar energy to help members’ electricity bills,” she explains. It’s a simple but effective method: Buy a plot of land in an external solar garden that’s like a community garden, but for clean energy!
CPA is now launching the Haystacks Solar Garden, a solar option for renters and apartment dwellers! The deadline for buying land is September 30th. Everyone can be part of the renewable energy revolution!
Leah from Sydney explains why she bought her property: “I live in a very high townhouse. The quotes for installing panels on my inaccessible roof are way overpriced. The Haystacks solar garden is the perfect solution for me.”
CPA has partnered with Pingala, Komo Energy and electricity retailer Energy Locals to provide citizen-led energy delivery. Despite a pandemic and because of the recurring energy crises, CPA worked hard to make the project a success. As a matter of fact, CleanTechnica wrote about the project for the first time 2 years ago!
From a total of 333 solar garden plots, more than 200 plots are still available until September 30, 2022. Each lot has 3kW solar panels and costs $4200 to purchase. The owner then receives a credit of USD 505 per year for 10 years, which corresponds to a feed-in tariff of 12 cents/kWh.
“Solar gardens are pioneering a way to have solar energy that moves when you move. As the panels will be physically installed on a rural property in NSW Riverina, if you move, simply change your address with participating electricity trader Energy Locals and your solar benefits will continue to show up on your bill.
“Anyone who pays an electricity bill can be a solar gardener. Whether you are a renter in Bendigo who wants solar power or someone in Brisbane who already has solar power and want to help make this model a reality.”
Now there’s finally a solar solution for tenants, roommates and anyone who doesn’t have a suitable roof for solar — solar gardens!
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