FAQ

Why are we doing this?

Why does Pingala exist?

A:

Pingala members love renewable energy and we want to see a lot more of it installed in Sydney.  It's that simple!

We know that not every business finds it easy to put solar on their roof, so we'll break down the barriers preventing them from installing solar and we'll also bring additional benefits to make the case for installing solar even stronger.

We also know that not every household can put solar on their own roof, so we make it possible for everyone to participate in the rooftop solar revolution that is sweeping this country.  It no longer matters if you rent, live in an apartment, have a shaded roof or just don't have any room on your roof - you can claim your stake in solar through Pingala.

Why is community solar better than privately funded solar?

I understand the benefits of putting solar on the roof of my business or organisation, so what does Pingala offer that's different?  Wouldn't my business be better of to pay for solar ourselves?

A:

The unique value of a community solar project for a host site is its profile and connection with the community.

At the heart of the Pingala value proposition for host sites is the community activation campaign that Pingala will run to promote the project and find community investors. Pingala will work with your organisation to ensure the communities with which you want to build stronger connections (such as your customer-base, local residents, employees or other stakeholders) are included in the target audience. Pingala will engage with those communities by offering the option to invest in the solar farm and, once installed, promote the project to attract further interest in community solar.

This will help build stronger links between your organisation and your most important stakeholders, helping promote your credentials in environmental and social innovation.

Commercial solar offerings or self-financed solar cannot deliver the additional social and marketing benefits that Pingala offers through its community solar model.

How does it work?

A:

Pingala have agreed that we'd like our first project to be a commercial solar project.  This means we'll pay for the installation of a solar farm on the roof of a local host site such as a hotel, a school, a car park or whatever makes sense.

The host site will pay Pingala a fair price for the use of the solar panels and this income will be used to repay the finance used to purchase the solar equipment at the beginning of the project.

We've seen the success of the Repower Shoalhaven project at Shoalhaven Heads on the South Coast of NSW and hope to implement a very similar business model.  http://www.repower.net.au/repower-one.html

Can we work with Pingala?

Community solar sounds perfect for my organisation - can we have a Pingala solar farm on our roof?

A:

Yes!  So long as you have a suitable roof and you use electricity during the day, we'll almost certainly be able to structure a project to match your circumstances.

The first step is for us to meet to discuss your requirements (and ours!) so we can then prepare a document which outlines the proposed structure of the project.  This will include a preliminary economic analysis as well as a plan for the community activation that best suits your needs.

We structure our project proposals so that they deliver a 'win' for all the parties involved: you, your landlord, our financiers, our organisation, your community.

If the proposal meets your approval, we'll start planning the project in detail, resulting in agreements being signed to cover the funding, construction and ongoing operation of the solar farm on your roof.

Email us on info@pingala.org.au if you'd like to arrange a meeting.

Who is Pingala?

A:

Pingala are everyday people from across Sydney.  We're people just like you who love solar and who think there could be a lot more of it in Sydney.

We are a not-for-profit, incorporated association, run purely by volunteers who are members of the community of greater Sydney. 

Pingala is a diverse, inclusive and non-hierarchical group of people who are highly motivated and inspired to make this project happen.

Contact us here www.pingala.org.au/contact

Where did Pingala come from?

A:

On 13 March 2013, a community forum was held in Redfern Town Hall. Attendees at that forum were invited to a Workshop facilitated by Community Power Agency and held on 17 March 2013 at Redfern Oval. Out of the workshop, Pingala was born, with 20 attendees making the commitment to form a new Community Renewable Energy project in Sydney.

Since then, the group has incorporated as a not-for-profit organisation who meet regularly on the second Wednesday of the month. Cool hey?

What is community energy?

What makes Pingala different from a solar company or developer?  What does the community bit mean anyway?

A:

The following explanation comes from Community Power Agency

Community Renewable Energy or CRE for short is an approach to renewable energy development that involves significant levels of community participation and/or ownership. At the Community Power Agency we talk about the 3Ds of community energy – CRE projects:

  • Decarbonise our energy supply through using renewable energy or low carbon technologies;

  • Decentralise and localize our energy supply; and

  • Democratise our energy governance through community ownership and participation.

Just as there is no one size fits all definition of community, there is no one definition of community renewables. Indeed the sheer diversity of community renewable energy projects is what makes this sector so beneficial. These projects come in many shapes and sizes, growing from the diverse needs and available resources of the local community. It might be anything from PV on a school roof to a 4-turbine wind farm on the edge of town to a small hydro system owned by two nearby villages. Projects vary by technology, size, structure, governance and funding options. Even people's motivations for setting such a project up vary. 

Thanks Community Power Agency - we couldn't put it better than that!

Can I have Pingala power on my house?

I own the house I live in...  Can Pingala put solar panels on my roof?

A:

Yes!  (sort of...)

Although Pingala don't do residential solar installations, we're proud to be partnering with Sungevity who DO.

And the best bit: if you sign up with Sungevity on one of their solar plans, they'll send Pingala a $250 referral fee!  This makes it a great way to support Pingala while putting solar on your roof, doing the right thing for the planet and saving you money on your future energy bills.

http://au.sungevity.org/pingala

We've built a relationship with Sungevity and believe they're one of the 'good guys' out there in the market.  They have a strong focus on customer service and can offer a variety of ways of selling you solar - from up-front-purchase to solar-leasing and power-purchase-agreements.  You MUST do your own due diligence before signing up with them (we can't afford to endorse any third party in this way), but we're confident you'll come to the same conclusion as us.

http://au.sungevity.org/pingala

Where did you get your name?

What does "Pingala" mean?

A:

Pingala means solar energy.  Well, sort of...

In yoga philosophy the Nadi are energy channels through which energy or consciousness flows.  Pingala is one of these channels and is associated with Solar.

We could have given ourselves a descriptive name and an acronym (Sydney Community Renewables Action Group, anyone?) - but decided that having a distinctive name was more interesting.

Say what?

How do you pronounce Pingala?

A:

We've been advised by reputable sources that the correct way to pronounce Pingala is with 'short' pronunciation of the two letters 'a'.

As in "pin-guh-luh"

Not so much "pin-gar-lar"

Didn't find that answer you were looking for?

A:

Send us an email at info@pingala.org.au and we'll answer your question.

Maybe we'll even publish it here for others to see!