Australia’s largest wholesaler of PV products, Solar Juice, has launched a new division of the company that will act as a one stop solar finance shop, offering Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and early stage project financing for a range of solar projects.
Jay Howard, who will head up Juice Capital, says the new company’s “simple, flexible and well priced” PPAs will facilitate the development of solar projects of all shapes and sizes, for both installers and clients.
“Juice Capital understands the Australian solar marketplace intimately and in partnership with Solar Juice is uniquely placed to do whatever is needed to make a solar project happen,” Howard said in a statement on Wednesday. Nick Lake, former head of Sungevity Australia, will be executive director.
Of course, project finance has been the Achilles heel of the Australian renewable energy market, with few long-term “bankable” power purchase agreements coming to market over the past three years, thanks to prolonged policy uncertainty and price slumps in Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs).
According to an Ernst and Young report released in May, the sector’s continued inability to secure long-term power off-take agreements had had the effect of holding back a “mountain of global cash” looking for investments.
However, there have been a series of new solar financing ventures launched in recent months, including by Lighthouse Solar Fund and Impact Investment Group.
Solar Juice sales director Andrew Burgess said the move into solar finance was a natural progression for the company, following on from its recent partnership with inverter group Fronius.
“The (commercial and industrial solar) space is one which is growing rapidly in Australia and Fronius has a suite of products that allow flexible design and installation,” Brugess said of that deal in June.
Juice Capital says it expects to add a number of other finance options to its repertoire soon, “to help construct that solar system or plant or farm, and ultimately deliver cleaner cheaper power.”