One of Victoria’s biggest and most well respected solar retailers, Gippsland Solar, has been acquired by major Australian insurer RACV, in a deal that speaks volumes about the huge potential yet remaining in Australia’s booming rooftop PV market.
The acquisition – which has been in the works for some months – signals a significant pivot towards solar energy for RACV, which started out in 1903 as a Victorian motoring and mutual organisation that offered (and still does) roadside assistance.
The company, which retails PV via its own very low-key solar division, RACV Solar, last month announced a transition to 100% renewables for all its clubs, resorts and office buildings, through a mix of on-site solar and an off-take deal with the retail arm of Snowy Hydro, Red Energy.
Under the five-year deal, which will kick off on January 01 2020, RACV will purchase 21GWh of renewable electricity a year – enough to power 3,500 average homes.
On the self-generation front, the organisation is part way through a major commercial solar rollout in partnership with, you guessed it, Gippsland Solar. This included the rather impressive installation of a 510kW PV system at the RACV Torquay Resort, on Victoria’s west coast.
For Gippsland Solar, which was established in Victoria’s coal centre 10 years ago by CEO Andy McCarthy and his wife and co-director Kelly, the deal means the company can continue to grow – including into other states – with the backing of a much bigger (and inherently risk-averse) company.
RACV managing director and CEO Neil Taylor said on Friday that the deal would bring together one of Victoria’s most exciting regional businesses with one of the state’s oldest and most trusted.
“This acquisition will see both RACV and Gippsland Solar benefitting from each other’s strengths. Together, we’ll be able to improve current solar offerings, scale quicker and make renewable and sustainable energy solutions accessible to more Victorians.
“We know Victorians are concerned about the sustainability and cost-efficiency of the current energy system. In keeping with RACV’s mission to improve the lives of all Victorians, at the core of this acquisition is our commitment to help shape a more sustainable future for our members, customers and the state.”
To read the full story on RenewEconomy sister site One Step Off The Grid, click here…