Allambi Care solar project

In partnership with Lake Macquarie City Council and Pingala

Hello to all!

Welcome to Pingala’s information page for the Allambi Care solar project!

We’re so excited that Allambi Care has partnered with Lake Macquarie Council to power-up its operations using solar. This is part of the not-for-profit organisation’s commitment to becoming a sustainable organisation and reducing its energy footprint.

Like Allambi Care, Pingala is also focused on supporting the community! We’ve crafted the information on this page so that you have everything you need to determine if investing in Allambi Care solar project via Pingala is for you, or not. Whatever your decision, we’d like you to know that we’re excited that Pingala will be forming a long-lasting and positive relationship with Allambi Care and we look forward to supplying clean solar power, but also we’re stoked that we’ll be joining each other’s broader community.

At Pingala we want to do energy differently, because we believe the old way of making energy is fundamentally broken and unfair. We’re building a fairer energy system that puts community at the heart of the solutions.

Read on – we hope you find this information easy to understand, but if you have any problems, please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us to discuss things further.

Cheers! Nigel, April & the Pingala team

Thanks so much for submitting your EOI

We're now at full capacity, thank you for your support


Thank you to the Allambi Care team and Lake Mac!

We’ll be having a wonderful celebration event at the end of the install so keep your eyes open for an event invitation from Allambi Care. Keep in touch via our Get in Touch page, especially if you’d like to invest in future projects or have a new community solar project in mind. 

The Basics

The Project

Allambi Care is a leading provider of Disability Services, Residential Care, Foster Care, and Family and Clinical Support in the Newcastle, Central Coast & Hunter Regions, serving individuals, families, communities and government agencies, aiming to empower people to reach their full potential, support young people in crisis, and help them connect to their families and family heritage. Allambi Care provides flexible and innovative services, and the centre at Charlestown provides a hub for over 800 staff as they work to provide 24 hour support to young people and their families.

This site was selected by Lake Macquarie Council after an 18-month engagement process with businesses from around the Council area. It represents a viable and growing organisation that has close community ties and willingness to work with volunteers and Council.

Solar Power Australia assessed the building in July 2019 and found that a 60.35kW 3 phase solar system would best fit the needs of the centre. The roof is partly shaded for some of the day, so micro-inverters will be installed so that each panel operates independently, with shade only reducing the output of shaded panels.


As well as Allambi Care & Pingala is partnering with Lake Macquarie City Council and Solar Power Australia on this project.

Lake Macquarie City Council serves Lake Macquarie City, a local government area in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. The area is situated adjacent to the city of Newcastle and is part of the Greater Newcastle Area. The city is approximately 150 km north of Sydney.

Solar Power Australia is an Australian owned and operated company based at Cardiff, not far from Allambi Care. The business provides renewable energy and storage solutions for industry, businesses, and the residential sector, and operates Solar Online Australia.

Community funded

Solar power for Allambi Care is being funded by Allambi Care’s community, Lake Macquarie locals and the Pingala community. Allambi Care will pay for the solar electricity generated for three years, post installation and this revenue stream will repay the community investors with an attractive rate of return between 5 to 8% p.a. through the Pingala Co-operative.
The Pingala Co-operative will offer shares valued at $1 in packets of 250, with a maximum of 4 share-bundles per person. Up to 292 members of the community can take part of this great environmental initiative.

Pingala investors

Community members who invest in the Pingala Co-operative will become members as well as shareholders in the Co-op. This means they become co-owners of the Pingala Co-operative. The Pingala Co-operative seeks to deliver dividend payments to its members of between 5% and 8% per annum. The Board of Directors of the Co-operative have discretion to determine the dividend to be paid each year and they have fiduciary responsibility for managing the Co-operative for the benefit of member-shareholders.

At the end of the three years the system will be nominally sold to Allambi Care and the Shareholders will remain a member of Pingala with their returned capital reinvested in new renewable energy projects. If there are no new projects, then the funds will be returned and the shares in Pingala bought out by the Co-operative.

Public offer

All potential investors are invited to submit expressions of interest to buy between 1 and 4 packets of shares at $250 per packet. Any expressions of interest must be able to take up an offer of investment in the Co-operative, but an expression has no obligation to invest. Once we have received enough EOIs to cover the full cost of the system we will raffle the names of the potential investors and those people who have been chosen will be contacted and invited to invest. 

What next?

If you think you might want to invest, here’s how you can do so:

  1. Read the Pingala Rules and Disclosure Statement at the bottom of this page, there are also some handy hints in the FAQs below. It is important that you consider your personal financial situation when deciding to invest. Seek independent financial advice if unsure.
  2. Submit your Expression of Interest (EOI) to participate
  3. Await your invitation once the draw has taken place
  4. Send your Investment money within 3 days of the completion of the “Invitation to Invest” to guarantee you shares.
  5. Still have questions? Contact Pingala’s finance team at

Remember, you need to determine your own ability to make this investment and you need to decide if the risks of this investment match your profile and personal circumstances. We cannot advise you on your financial affairs and you should consult a professional financial advisor before you make any major investment decisions.


Who is Pingala?
Pingala is a community energy group, working to build a fairer energy system. We believe our old energy system is broken and unfair. By putting consumers and communities in control, we are making “fairer energy” and cutting big energy out of our lives. Pingala is a partnership between two organisations; the Pingala Association and the Pingala Co-operative. The Pingala Association is the heart of the Pingala Group, being the not-for-profit, volunteer organisation that runs initiatives to deliver on our vision for making sure the energy transition is happening fast and fair. The Association’s initiatives work across three broad areas: helping businesses get access to the benefits of clean energy, helping more homes own solar, and working with community organisations and whole communities to ensure they’re not being left behind in the energy revolution. The Pingala Co-operative is a distributing (for profit) co-operative, setup to be the investment vehicle for Pingala’s community investment projects. Pingala Co-operative manages a portfolio of clean energy investments for the benefit of its member-shareholders and has been operating for the last two years. The Co-operative is governed by a Board of Directors with fiduciary responsibility for managing the Co-operative for the benefit of member-shareholders.
What is a Co-operative?
Co-operatives are people centred organisations that are owned, controlled and used by their members. A co-operative’s main purpose is to benefit its members. Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. Their members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.   The aim of the Pingala Co-operative is to build, own and operate community-owned solar farms in Australia, with the support of member-shareholders who will become part owners in the projects.
What is the investment offer?

This is an opportunity to invest in the Pingala Co-operative by becoming a member and purchasing shares. The shares sold in this offer round will raise funds to support the development of the Allambi Care Community Solar Project. Although the shares are being sold to finance the Allambi Care Project, the investment offer is to become an ongoing member of the Pingala Co-operative and thereby a part owner in the portfolio of projects being managed by the Co-operative. The Rules of the Pingala Co-operative Limited and the Pingala Disclosure Statement set out the conditions of membership, share issues and the overall investment proposition.

How many shares can I buy?
We are offering ‘packets’ of shares in bundles of 250. Since shares are $1 each this means each ‘packet’ of shares you can buy is $250. Each investor can purchase a maximum of 4 packets.  Therefore you have the potential to invest $250, or $500, or $750 or $1,000.
Can I purchase more than $1,000 of shares? Can I purchase less than $250 of shares?
We have balanced our intention to let as many people as possible invest in the project, against the cost of administering the share register. Unfortunately, we can’t offer smaller investment sizes than $250 as it becomes too expensive to administer our share register when we have too many small shareholders.
How do I invest?
  1. You will need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to invest. You can do this by completing the EOI form at the bottom of the page. Make sure you tell us how many share packages you would like to reserve; either 1, 2, 3 or 4 share packets (see above “How many shares can I buy?”).  
  2. In this form you will also apply to become a member of the Pingala Co-operative.
  3. You will need to transfer your money to the Pingala Co-operative via electronic fund transfer (EFT). *IMPORTANT: You will only have 3 business days to transfer funds to Pingala, missing the deadline may mean missing out on the opportunity to invest.
  4. Pingala will then send you a receipt for your investment and a shareholding statement, along with an information pack explaining how dividends will be paid to you, and other important facts.
What is the rate of return on my investment? When are dividends paid and how often?
The Co-operative aims to provide a return of between 5% and 8%. Dividends will be paid annually to each investor.
What happens after the 3 year project life is over?

You will be investing in the Pingala Co-operative, not the Allambi Care Project, so your shares won’t expire at the 3 year life time. Pingala Co-operative will reinvest this capital into other equivalent projects, maximising the impact of your share contribution and allowing you to continue enjoying a return on investment beyond the 3 year project.

What if I need to access my capital? Can I sell my shares? How soon can I sell them?
You can sell your shares anytime you want to.  However, you will either need to find another member to buy your shares or you will need to apply to the Co-operative to purchase your shares back from you.  These two options are expanded below:

  1. Finding another member to buy your shares. This is the preferred method of selling your shares. You can either find a buyer yourself or you can use the Pingala Shares for Sale register.  People who are interested in purchasing shares can view the register and request Pingala to put them in touch with the prospective seller.
  2. Pingala repurchase of shares. This is recommended for situations where a buyer cannot be found and there are urgent reasons for selling shares. You can apply to the Co-operative to repurchase your shares and in most circumstances this will be possible.  The Co-operative is not obliged to repurchase shares if it will be detrimental to the Co-operative.
Can I complete a joint application?
No, share applications are for individuals only.
How do I pay for the shares?
When you fill your member application form it will be used to confirm your allocation of shares. You will then need to send an Electronic Funds Transfer to the provided bank details for the Pingala Co-operative. You must add your full name in the description field of the transfer.
Who will own and manage the project once it has been installed. Will I be able to contact someone if I have a question about my shares?
As a shareholder you will be a member of the Pingala Co-operative and therefore a part-owner in the project/trust. Contact if you have any questions.
Will the dividends be franked?
As a co-operative, Pingala is allowed to claim a tax deduction for the distribution it makes to its members, so long as it doesn’t frank those dividends. The Board of Pingala Co-operative have resolved to take advantage of this situation and so dividends will not be franked unless the Board determines to change this approach.

Essential documents

Rules – our constitution

Co-operatives have a constitution just like companies do, but they’re called Rules. The Rules set out the ways in which the Co-operative operates, the obligations of members, the purpose of the organisation and the way in which meetings are run and so forth.

Disclosure Statement – a bit like a prospectus

Pingala Co-operative is a for-profit entity. Technically this is what is known as a distributing co-operative. That’s just a fancy way of saying we distribute surplus/profit to our shareholders. So, we’re a for-profit Co-op.

Just like a company needing to issue a prospectus if they make a public offer to investors, our Co-operative must always have an up-to-date Disclosure Statement that outlines the financial involvement and liability of member-investors as well as the overall prospects of the organisation into the future.

This is your main document to determine what sort of investment you’ll be making if you were to become a member and buy shares. The document includes a section on risk, which you should pay particular attention to (although all parts of the document need your attention, so don’t just read the risk section!)


You can also get involved with Pingala in other ways here


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