GO energy – the renewable energy retailer recently acquired by ASX-listed solar wholesaler Solco – has joined forces with Flexi Enterprise to establish a $25 million multi-year finance facility to fund commercial solar power off-take deals.
Two years in the making, the solar power plant agreement (PPA) facility is designed to offer GO energy’s commercial customers an “innovative financing structure” that will bundle solar – and other energy saving and management measures – with traditional retail electricity contracts at locked-in rates.
Go energy, whose acquisition by Solco was completed two weeks ago, has focused its business on reducing energy costs and grid reliance for corporates through solutions including solar, battery storage, efficiency and its Go Hub energy monitoring system.
Solar has been the real focus though, with the company offering no-money-down solar design, supply and installation based on detailed audits and energy analysis.
The customer then signs a contract – a PPA – with Go energy that locks in their electricity prices at a “competitive” rate for a set period. At the end of that period, the contract can be renewed, or there is an option for the business to buy the solar system outright.
It’s a model – well deployed in the US, and now adopted by retailing giants Origin Energy and AGL Energy in Australia – that Solco has been eyeing for some time now. Back in 2012, the then newly appointed CEO Anthony Coles told RenewEconomy in an interview that the company wanted to be able to attract funds into a vehicle that could invest in large projects – and offer a better finance model.
This fund, he said, would seek to address two market barriers: the difficulty in obtaining power purchase agreements, and the cost of capital.
“We are quietly confident of pulling together a $100 million fund,” Coles said.
And while it’s not quite $100 million, the $25 million fund with Flexi Enterprise is a start.
Two year’s later, Go energy CEO Adam Pearse says that generating, storing and consuming your own power from on-site technologies is now a viable long-term alternative for commercial consumers – a way to “fight back ever increasing energy costs and network charges.”
“It is the start of a global transformation in the way we think about managing energy consumption,” Pearse said in a statement on Wednesday.