Access solar. Sunny Roof not required.

Become a Solar Gardener and have the energy credited on your electricity bill.

Haystacks Solar Garden

If you would like to find out more about our current project, please visit its website. 

What is a Solar Garden?

“Solar gardens work by installing a central solar array, generally near a population centre. Energy customers can purchase panels in the central solar array. The electricity generated is then credited on the customer’s electricity bill.”


“With a solar garden, any electricity customer can participate in and benefit from solar energy. The solar panels may be located off-site, but the household receives a financial outcome on their bill, a bit like having solar on their own roof. “


“Solar gardens are the fastest growing segment in the US solar industry, contributing 200MW of new photovoltaic capacity in 2016.”

Source: Institute for Sustainable Futures at UTS: Social Access Solar Gardens project page .

What is Pingala doing?

 Pingala is at the centre of bringing this exciting new way of owning solar to Australia. Starting with the Haystacks Solar Garden project, bringing a functioning solar garden into existence requires collaboration between a number of partners. Luckily, working collaboratively is in Pingala’s DNA. We’ve been assembling the right partners to help us successfully navigate the financial and energy market regulations. Now we are looking for communities who would like to join us on this journey. 


Because of the hard work we’ve put in, we can see a clear path ahead and are  accepting registrations from locked-out households who would love to become the next solar gardens customers in Australia.


Pingala is currently also working on the Haystacks Solar Garden along with Community Power Agency and Komo Energy.  

Why a Solar Garden...

Community ownership

Pingala Solar Gardens use co-operative ownership to make the community the owner of the solar array.
Co-operatives have a long history of creating benefits to Australians through collective ownership, especially in regional areas. A Solar Garden Co-operative will be no different. Ownership will be by members and it will be members who can buy into the Solar Garden and receive the benefits.
This keeps profits and resources within the community and gives the community full control over the product they buy.

Locked-out users

Unlocking solar for 30% of NSW households: Solar Gardens
As the NSW Government knows, one of the best ways to lower household power bills is to support household solar.
Over 401,000 households and businesses have installed rooftop solar in NSW. Unfortunately, at least 30% of NSW households are unable to install solar, as they rent their home, live in apartments, have shady roofs or face other frustrating barriers. These households are considered “locked out” of regular rooftop solar. The good news is that the NSW Government can support these locked-out households to access the benefits of solar by extending the Government’s backing of Solar Gardens.

The ideal solar system

By locating the solar system off-site, i.e. in a solar array, the Solar Garden gets the benefits that come with an ideally located and orientated solar system that receives constant professional maintenance and management.
This means that the Solar Garden can very accurately predict generation and almost (because no one can be 100%) guarantee the allocation that each Solar Garden Plot will receive. 

In a Solar Garden, a fixed proportion of generation will be allocated to Solar Gardeners, the remainder will be used for operations and maintenance as well as Co-op administration. The Solar Gardener proportion will still be subject to panel degradation, but at an optimal rate (usually manufactures specs.)

This will mean that Solar Gardeners will know with relative certainty what the production of their ‘plot’ will be. Reducing that risk.

Behind the meter consumption of power?

Rooftop Solar

Solar Garden Plot



Your residence can consume as much as it needs of the power your rooftop solar panels generate. This power is consumed “behind the meter” and is “free” to you.

The power from your Solar Garden plot is generated at a location remote from your property and therefore cannot be consumed “behind the meter”.


Sale of power at market rates

Rooftop Solar

Solar Garden Plot

Power your rooftop solar panels generate surplus to your requirements is only accepted by the grid at a rate set by your retailer (the FiT). All power your Solar Garden plot generates is sold to the grid making it available anywhere in the network. This allows the Solar Garden to negotiate the best price available and adapt to changes in the market.


Minimised risk of construction and economies of scale

Rooftop Solar

Solar Garden Plot


Residential rooftop solar panels are, in many cases, retrofitted to existing buildings. This increases the cost of installation and the risk of damage to the existing roof.

Even for new builds, there are limited efficiencies of scale, which further increases costs.

Currently these extra costs are off-set by the sale of small technology certificates (STCs) that come automatially when a rooftop owner installs a system.

Our Solar Gardens are “greenfield” projects on a site carefully selected to ensure efficiencies of scale and highly efficient construction and installation.


Optimal location and efficiency

Rooftop Solar

Solar Garden Plot


For most residential sites, rooftop solar panel installations are constrained by the available roofs having some or all of the following:

  • sub-optimal orientation
  • sub-optimal slope
  • limited available space
  • partial shading
  • difficult to monitor and find trades people

Our Solar Gardens will be in rural locations that are unconstrained:

  • panel orientation can be optimised
  • panel angle can be optimised
  • adequate space
  • no shading
  • regular, professional operation and maintenance contracts

The solar panels in your plot will perform extremely well.


Haystacks Solar Garden

If you would like to find out more about our current project, please visit its website. 

Need to know more?

Q: Who is Pingala?

Pingala is a community energy group! We make Fairer Energy by creating new energy  enterprises that put the consumer as the prime beneficiary of the business, not shareholders.

We’re a volunteer and not for profit association registered in NSW. ABN 25 632 206 778. You can find us online at

Q: How can I participate? 

Pingala will offer “plots”. Your plot is an allocation of generation of the solar array. We plan to offer 3kW lots to begin with. This much solar will produce approximately 12 kWh of electricity each day. The typical Australian home consumes about 20 kWh per day.

Q: How much will it cost?

We don’t know the exact price for each allotment, but expect it’ll cost about the same as a rooftop solar system. We will offer 3kW allotments, costing about $6,000 each ($2,000 per kW).

Q: How much will it save me off my bill?

You will effectively be receiving a credit for the value of electricity produced by your share of the solar garden. The price you receive for the electricity will be equivalent to the solar feed-in-tariff received if you had gross metered solar on your roof; this is currently about 10 cents per kWh.

Each 3kW share of the solar garden will produce approximately 4,200 kWh of electricity per year. This energy will be received as a $300-$400 credit off your annual electricity bill (assuming 7-10 cents per kWh).