'Solar Garden' Allows City Dwellers to Buy 'Plots' in Regional Solar Farms
The Haystacks Community Solar Garden, located at the Grong Grong Solar Farm, offers a unique model allowing city residents to purchase "plots" in a regional solar farm. The solar garden consists of 175 plots, each sold for $4200, with buyers receiving a $505 annual discount on electricity bills for a decade. The project, initiated by solar garden pioneers Kristy Walters and Jonathan Prendergast of Komo Energy, aims to provide clean energy benefits to urban residents. Despite facing delays caused by a federal tax, the COVID-19 pandemic, and geopolitical disruptions, the solar farm is now operational. The smaller scale of the development, generating 1.5 megawatts, facilitates connection to existing power lines without extensive infrastructure, benefiting approximately 700 homes. The solar garden addresses barriers to rooftop solar adoption for renters and apartment dwellers, contributing to Australia's renewable energy transition.