A new solar start-up is targeting the commercial-scale market in Australia with a financial model that allows business customers to install large rooftop systems for zero upfront payments.
Smart Commercial Solar officially launched its “proprietary Pay-As-You-Go solar model on Friday. It is the brainchild of Huon Hoogesteger, who describes it as a “financial product with solar attached”.
RenewEconomy does not vouch for the system or otherwise. But we think it is worth noting, because it is clearly part of a growing trend that will see solar installations boosted by financial innovation as much as technology innovation.
Hoogesteger says his scheme will allow businesses to generate the equivalent of 30-40 per cent of their electricity needs with no upfront payment.
The solar output is sold to the business at a fixed price, and at a discount to the grid.
At the end of a specified period, usually between five and ten years, the enterprise owns the solar system outright and can generate its own power for virtually no cost. Since the installation has a guaranteed life of twenty-five years, Hoogesteger says this translates to two decades of power generation.
The model appears to be a variation of those currently being brought to market, including solar leases and power purchase agreements. RenewEconomy is aware of at least another three start-ups seeking finance to back their venture, and will report on them as they come to market.
“This is a very different kind of innovation for our industry and for Australian business –one that we think will have a major impact on the way many enterprises use solar,” Hoogesteger said in a statement.
“Unlike solar leasing or the various financing schemes out there, Pay-As-You-Go allows us to deliver low-cost solar energy and a rapid path to ownership for enterprise. “
Hoogesteger says many businesses with stable revenue streams are increasingly looking at ways to reduce – and lock in – their electricity costs without incurring any capital expenditure.
“The future of solar is local. It’s about on-site generation and turning your premises into the power plant,” said Hoogesteger. “Frankly, almost every enterprise in Australia should have solar as part of their energy equation.”