Large-scale community solar coming to Australia

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A non-profit group is planning Australia’s first large-scale community solar project, with 740kW of PV to be installed on South Melbourne Market’s roof.

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CleanTechnica

The roof of the South Melbourne Market building was recently renovated, and the LIVE Community Power project intends to attract investors to install 3,000 photovoltaic solar panels on the roof.

The LIVE Community Power project, part of a non-profit climate change initiative called LIVE, is to be Australia’s first large-scale community solar project, and it is to have an electricity generation capacity of 740 kW (740,000 watts).

The South Melbourne Market building is located in the Victorian state capital. The plan is for one thousand $1,000 AUD ($1,047) shares to be sold to investors.

This LIVE group hopes to attract people who have roofs unsuitable for solar, and who live in rented buildings. The local council is carrying out a feasibility study of the project.

The LIVE Community Power group hopes to complete the project by 2013 and apply this cooperative business model onto other roofs.

Community solar projects can benefit end-users by saving money when they buy and own the solar panels which they are using, because there is no for-profit organization to charge them additional money for the electricity in order to make a profit.

Normally, without community solar, renters who want solar would have to buy the electricity from a centralized solar power plant, which they’d really just be buying through the grid.

To top things off, community solar is large-scale compared to typical residential solar, and this enables it to benefit from economies of scale. The cost of solar really is heavily impacted by the way it is applied.

One should also factor in that buying and owning solar panels “fixes” your electricity cost, because buying solar panels is like buying 30 years of electricity in advance, so the cost of it cannot increase, and your electric bill would be immune to fossil-fuel price increases.

This article was originally published on CleanTechica. Reproduced with permission.

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3 Comments
  1. Howard Patrick 6 years ago

    Great idea but it will be interesting to see how the fossil fuel electricity generators and retailers, with the help of the State Government, frustrate the project with low-ball offers to buy the electricity that can be produced.

  2. Beat Odermatt 6 years ago

    This is a great idea! In countries like Germany and Belgium, many commercial buildings (factories, farms, breweries, super-market) have large scale solar PV installations on their roofs. In Australia it seems commercial application by private companies is still absent. For example in Adelaide a brand new 100 Million Dollar aquatic center will need a lot’s of electricity for its pumping and heating of water. The building has a massive roof, but I have not noticed a single solar panel. Why?

  3. Cheap solar energy 6 years ago

    I do accept as true with all the ideas you’ve presented on your post. They’re very convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are very quick for beginners. May you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

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