Haystacks Solar Garden is an initiative that’s helping Aussies who are unable to install solar panels on their homes to reap the benefits of solar power by renting panels within a solar garden – and it’s just expanded to the whole grid. 


Solar power is taking off across Australia, with more and more individuals jumping on board and buying their own solar panels. But around 35% of Aussies are unable to install solar where they live.

Whether this is because they’re renting, live in an apartment without roof access, or have a shaded rooftop, millions of people are missing out on joining in the renewable electricity revolution!

Haystacks Solar Garden want to change that.

Initially launched for residents in NSW, Haystacks Solar Garden has just expanded across Victoria, ACT, South Australia, Tasmania, and South East Queensland and aims to make solar power accessible to everyone through the use of solar gardens. 

In fact, they’ll soon be building a massive 1.5MW solar array on around five hectares of farmland an hour west of Wagga Wagga, NSW, and help reduce emissions by 3,100 tonnes every year.


What is a solar garden?

Honestly, I was confused about this whole thing when I first heard about it, but it’s pretty nifty!

A solar garden is kind of like a community garden. Just as there’s a large area of shared land for gardening, there’s a mass grouping of solar panels somewhere sunny, and individuals can lease their own personal plot of panels and harvest their own power!

The energy that’s generated by your personal solar panels is used by an electricity company and it passes on the savings to you via a credit on your electricity bill, helping you save money and be involved in the transition to renewables.

How do I get a plot in a solar garden?

Anyone who’s eligible for an electricity account with EnergyLocals is able to purchase their very own plot in a solar garden and can start producing and benefiting from renewable energy!

A single plot costs $4,200, a bit of an expensive upfront cost, but it’s an investment and you’ll make up this money, and more, with credits on your power bills.

‘After purchasing their plot, solar gardeners stand to receive estimated savings of $505 on their electricity bill each year for a decade,’ says Kristy Walters, Community Power Agency Director and Chair of the Haystacks Solar Garden Co-operative.

The solar garden is expected to be built by June 2023, and from then on you’ll instantly start receiving solar credits on your power bills for the next ten years! Not too shabby at all. 

The federal government has committed to creating 85 solar gardens around the country, so Haystacks Solar Garden will be a national test case for the ease, benefits, and accessibility of a personal plot in a solar garden!


Feature photo by Anna Meltzer