Clean Power Soleir-Logo-Tagline-RGB1

Published on September 5th, 2013 | by Giles Parkinson

0

Soleir Plans First Australian Utility-scale Farm Funded By Small Investors

September 5th, 2013 by  

Originally published on RenewEconomy.

An Australian solar farm developer is poised to begin construction of a 2.5MW solar PV project that it says will be financed through an innovative unit-based investment structure, and will be the first utility-scale solar farm funded by small investors.

Soleir-Logo-Tagline-RGB1Soleir this week opened the first two 5kW solar installations at the site in the western NSW city of Dubbo that it says will be used to validate the design and construction of the Solar One project, and be used as a marketing tool for investors.

Managing director Rohan Gillespie wants to sell 5kW modules (with inverters) in the project to investors, at a price of around $6,500 per unit, so that the project can be entirely financed through equity.

He says this will lower the cost of capital, and mean that the project will be profitable simply by selling its output into the wholesale market.

Soleir will own the balance of plant, foundations and transformers and will contribute around 40 per cent of the cost of the $5 million project.  It will use a 12kV transmission line and has approval from Essential Energy. It has a 30-year lease on the land from the Dubbo City Council.

“We won’t need a long-term power purchase agreement, and we won’t need bank debt,” Gillespie told RenewEconomy. “Whatever price wind energy needs, we can match it.” And the output will be more valuable because it will be more aligned with the afternoon peaks.

If it works, Gillespie says the Dubbo project could be expanded to 12.5MW, and he sees opportunities for “dozens” more similar projects around regional areas of NSW.

“Once the investment product is established, we think there will be quite a demand for it. We are taking a unique approach,” he said.

Soleir, which is a subsidiary of the listed Red Sky Energy, a gas field developer that is now turning its interest  to solar, has received an Australian Financial Services licence to roll out its unitised structure.

He says Soleir’s costs per watt are smaller than bigger projects such as AGL Energy’s Nyngan and Broken Hill projects. “Those flagship projects are largely driven by power suppliers. They have big financing,  big contractors, and margins upon margins upon margins. They need $200-$250/MWh. to make money. We need much less than that.”

He didn’t reveal what return would be offered to investors – apart from a “steady cash flow” over 28 years –  although this would be included in an offer document. Gillespie says Soleir hopes to begin construction in a few months and complete the project next year.

He said the company would need to import panels and inverters, but would use local businesses for steel fabrications and concreting, and for the planning, transport and drilling of the holes in the ground.

“By providing local jobs, investment opportunities and feeding the renewable energy produced back into the local grid, we believe that the Dubbo Solar One project will demonstrate how regional centres such as Dubbo can be world– leaders in the production, supply and use of solar energy,” he said.

Dubbo is emerging as a centre for renewables in the state. It already is the No1 postcode for rooftop solar in NSW, and some suggest it could also become the electric vehicle capital of the state as well.

Indeed, Dubbo mayor Mathew Dickerson last week took delivery of the council’s first EV, a Holden Volt,  that will reduce fuel costs from the Holden Statesman previously used from around $26 a day to around $1.50 a day.

In a blog on the council’s website, Dickerson said he believed Dubbo was the first council in Australia to choose an electric option for the primary Mayoral vehicle.

This is both practical and a leadership step,” he wrote. “This electric car in particular is the first of the three current EV cars in Australia to solve range anxiety problems. In addition to the normal electric motor and a large battery (with an 87km range), it has a small petrol motor that acts as a generator if the battery goes flat.

“The 40 litre tank extends the range by another 500km. For the Mayoral role, which involves short trips within Dubbo 95 per cent of the time, it is the perfect vehicle.” 
 
Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”
 
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

 

Tags: , , , , ,


About the Author

is the founding editor of RenewEconomy.com.au, an Australian-based website that provides news and analysis on cleantech, carbon, and climate issues. Giles is based in Sydney and is watching the (slow, but quickening) transformation of Australia's energy grid with great interest.



Back to Top ↑
  • Advertisements

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Cool Cleantech Events

    Low Voltage Electrification Event, April 25-27. Detroit, Michigan (US)
    Delve deep into the benefits and challenges associated with EV power supply.

    Offshore Wind Market Development USA, May 11-12, Boston, Massachusetts (US)
    Network and establish your business in one of North America’s largest energy industries.

    Energy Storage USA, June 15-16, San Diego, California (US)
    Only event in the United States focused exclusively on the commercialization of storage.

    More details are on: Cleantech Events.

  • Advertisement

  • CleanTechnica Electric Car Report

    Electric Cars Early Adopters First Followers
  • Tesla Model 3 Review by EVANNEX

    Tesla Model 3 Review from EVANNEX
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Video

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Pictures

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model X Review #1 (Video)

    Tesla Model X Review from new owners Zach Shahan
  • Tesla Model X Review #2 (Pictures)

    Tesla Model X Review from Kyle Field
  • Tesla Model S Long-Term Review

    Tesla Model S Long Term Review from Kyle Field
  • Nissan LEAF Long-Term Review

    Nissan LEAF Long Term Review from Cynthia Shahan
  • Interview with Michael Liebreich

    Interview with Michael Liebreich
  • Interview with Akon (Teslas & Solar)

    Interview with Akon Tesla Model S Tesla Model X Solar Power Africa
  • Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany

    Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany
  • Interview with Gro Brundtland

    Gro Brundtland
  • Interview with President of Iceland

    President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
  • Interview with Nick Sampson

    Faraday Future VP Nick Sampson
  • Interview with Dipal Barua

    Dipal Barua 1st ZFEP WInner
  • Interview with Jonathon Porritt

    Jonathon Porritt
  • Interview with Clint Wilder

    Interview with Clint Wilder
  • Interviews with Solar Impulse Pilots

    Bertrand Piccard Andre Borschberg
  • Check out more CleanTechnica Videos.

  • Join The Solar Revolution!

    Edison-solar-energy solar-energy-spill-nice-day
  • Cost of Solar Panels

    cost-of-solar-down
  • Search the IM Network


Shares