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Background Story

The project was conceived over a meeting between Jonathan Prendergast and Gemma Purcell, chatting about various innovative energy projects Gemma was working on in the Riverina, NSW. Jonathan asked whether she would be interested in hosting a mid-scale solar farm. The answer was ‘yes’ and the Grong Grong Solar Farm was born.

Mid-scale solar is what Gerald Arends and Jonathan Prendergast connected over when they formed Komo Energy.  The Grong Grong Solar Farm goes to the essence of what Komo Energy and its projects are about. 

It is an opportunity for a vibrant new sector in Australia with plentiful projects, jobs and emissions reductions using regional contractors and people power to fund them.  Rather than the one-dimensional large-scale finance model, these projects can be open to innovation.  This opportunity inspired Gemma to collaborate and pursue the project.

The Grong Grong Solar Farm has now taken form as a 1.7 MW (DC) battery-ready solar project using single-axis tracking. 

  • Site
  • Project Status
  • Key Numbers

A benefit of mid-scale solar is that the best area within a lot can be chosen. The 4ha site is flat, 500m from the Newell Highway, with excellent access via the local Gawnes Road and to the Essential Energy 11kV network.

Grong Grong Solar Farm, local roads and Grong Grong township

The Grong Grong Solar Farm was granted development approval from Narrandera Shire Council in December 2020. A modification application will be required before construction. The grid modelling is nearing completion and will then be submitted to Essential Energy. Grid connection approval is expected in early 2022.

Solar Farm PV Capacity (DC) 1,707kW
Solar Farm Export Capacity (AC)
1,500kW
Panels
3,192 bifacial panels – 535W each
Generation Estimate
3,681MWh per annum (first year)

Design

Finance

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In February 2020, the project received a funding agreement for $1.3 million from the NSW Government Regional Community Energy Fund to be developed as Australia’s first large-scale ‘Solar Garden’. This will enable NSW citizens who cannot get rooftop solar to buy a 3kW ‘virtual plot’ and get credits on their electricity bill mimicking rooftop solar. The Solar Garden structure and Cooperative bringing together the Solar Gardeners has been developed by Pingala with support from Community Power Agency.  Enova Energy is the selected retailer to provide electricity retail services and on-bill credits.

The purchase of virtual Solar Garden plots will support finance of the construction of the Grong Grong Solar Farm and will be repaid over time from to the Cooperative who in turn arranges for the Solar Gardeners to receive their on-bill credits.

The funding of the Grong Grong Solar Farm is summarised below

Funding Type Approximate Amount (subject to change)
Solar Gardener Funding
Debt-style finance
$1.4 million
NSW Government RCEF - Grant Funding
Grant
$1.3 million
Cash Equity Investment
Shareholder Equity
$0.6 million

Interested to hear more?

Get in touch via the form below to hear more via our newsletter or arrange a 30-minute call.

Komo Energy Pty Ltd (ACN 618 126 622) (“we”) collect personal information about you in order to keep you informed of progress on the Grong Grong Solar Farm / Haystacks Solar Garden, our other projects and for purposes otherwise set out in our Privacy Policy.

We may share your personal information with the project owner, namely Grong Grong Solar 1 Pty Ltd (ACN 632 803 984), which is one of our our wholly-owned subsidiaries. The project owner may – at the appropriate time – wish to invite you to participate in a fundraising for the Grong Grong Solar Farm. We may also disclose your personal information to third parties that help us deliver our services.

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