The City of Campbelltown, with funding from the LGA Solar Innovation Fund has commenced a 3 phase study into the viability of Community Owned Solar Scheme on Council owned buildings.
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.
Phase 1 of the project shows that Council can pilot a 30kW system which could realistically lead to the development of 150 kW of roof top mounted solar over 5 sites with the involvement of 1000 investors each making an attractive return. This could be achieved while providing competitive solar energy to Councils across Adelaide with no up-front capital required from the Council.
South Australia is considered as almost the ‘perfect storm’ for the success of COS
projects considering the following context:
Electricity costs in SA are up by 68%
Solar costs are down by 70%
Uptake of solar installed in homes in the last 4 years is around 120, 000 homes
The average return on bank investments has dropped to 3-5%
Adelaide has excellent solar irradiance levels
Leadership potential for local government in climate constrained economy
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.
The Clean Energy Council has prepared a Consumer Guide to Solar PV which can be downloaded from their website, to help you make smart choices about which system is right for you.