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SOLAR GARDEN TRIALS Featured
22 July 2018 Posted by 

SOLAR GARDEN TRIALS

Pilot study explores consumer benefits
RED DWYER
BLACKTOWN will take part in a study to test the demand for “solar gardens” for consumers unable to put solar panels on their roofs.


“Solar gardens give consumers the benefits of rooftop solar, even if you don’t have a roof available to put it on,” said Ivor Frischknecht, CEO, of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
 
Mr Frischknecht said solar gardens could benefit consumers because they are renting, live in apartments or live in low income housing. Almost a third of Australians are in this situation.
 
ARENA would provide $240,000 to the University of Technology Sydney's Institute for Sustainable Futures, towards a feasibility study which aims to consider both consumer demand and feasibility, and identify barriers to adoption.
 
The study will be conducted in five locations in three states - three locations are in NSW, at Blacktown, Shoalhaven and Byron Bay.
Blacktown Council is a partner in the project.
 
Solar gardens would allow consumers to buy or lease PV panels on solar arrays, which could be centrallised off-site, and credit the electricity they generate to their home power bill.
 
“These trials will help renters, and people in apartments and low-income households who are currently missing out on the benefits of rooftop solar to share in the renewable energy boom currently underway in [NSW],” said Don Harwin, NSW Minister for Energy and Utilities.
 
According to data from the 2017 national Census, there are nine council areas in greater Sydney, alone, where more than half of residents are “locked out” of solar.

 



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