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Community Owned Solar Study

Solar Building Top View

The City of Campbelltown in conjunction with Monica Oliphant Research and funding from the SA LGA, ARENA and Renewables SA have developed a Community Owned Solar (COS) model to suit differing electricity tariff structures suitable for Council owned buildings and potentially other commercial buildings.

The project has been made up of 3 stages:

Stage 1 – A feasibility assessment including a review of relevant legislation, existing models, systems and projects, high level risk analysis, guiding principles re: site selection etc and development of the concept of the appropriate framework.

Stage 2 - Development of a bankable financial model, refinement of site specifications and assessment of suitable pilot sites.

Stage 3 –Development of model #2 due to significant rule changes from South Australia Power Networks. Refinement of  building criteria and further assessment of potential sites for pilot.

This project has made significant headway into the development of Community Owned Solar schemes within Australia.

The key difference between this model and the other 40 or more being developed across the country is that this model aims to give a return to investors and requires no ongoing subsidy or FiT.  In addition it is the only model that includes energy efficiency together with solar.

This project focuses on establishing a community owned scheme based around solar PV and also developing a model that can be replicated throughout Australia that is robust, bankable and self reliant once developed. In addition to this the project has created a second model which combines energy efficiency and solar PV which is the first of its kind in Australia. The project also looks at utilising existing rooftops on Local Government buildings, whereby the majority of projects in this area have focussed more on the development of full scale renewable energy 'farms'. It is on track to becoming the first project of its kind in Australia. 

What is Community Owned Solar (COS)?

In a nutshell a Commuity Owned Solar Scheme occurs where members of the community form a legal entity, most likely a Cooperative, for the purpose of owning and operating, in this case a Solar PV Scheme. These can be quite complicated and expensive to establish with a large amount of legal issues and restrictions to contend with. There have been a number of models established both interstate and overseas and whilst many of these had merit, they were established with huge grant funding and were not solar projects.

COS Exec Summary Stage 1(575 kb)

COS Case Studies Stage 1(844 kb)

COS Guidelines for Councils Stage 1(587 kb)

COS Stage 2 Exec Summary(594 kb)

Stage 3 COS Report 2015(265 kb)

Solar Panels for Households

Solar panels are now an affordable option for Australian households looking to reduce their power bills and generate their own clean electricity.

The use of solar panels has expanded quickly over the last couple of years and more consumers are looking for guidance so they can make an informed decision.

If you are considering installing solar panels and want more information visit the Solar PV pages on the Clean Energy Council website.  This website provides a "Consumer Guide to Solar PV" that you can download to help you make smart choices about which system is right for you.

ERACampbelltown Made South Australia
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