Community Renewable Energy Scheme

A community energy project based on the south-west coast of Western Australia is offering households an opportunity to become 90 per cent renewable “for the price of a coffee a day” as part of a privately funded, potentially 6.5MW Virtual Power Plant (VPP).

The Dunsborough Community Energy Project – which claims to be the first of its kind in WA, and Australia’s first VPP to be completely privately funded – is a collaboration between Perth-based company Redback Energy, investment outfit SUSI Partners and Perth law firm Jackson Macdonald.

The group’s first major goal is to pool the resources of 1000 or more Redback solar and battery storage systems installed across Dunsborough and the neighbouring town of Yallingup, and connect them using Australian made aggregation and control software.

The hook for local households and small businesses is zero upfront cost for the technology, which would include 6.6kW of solar PV (Suntech panels), one Redback 5.0 kVA inverter, 7.2-9.6kWh of Pylontech (LiFePo4) batteries, installation included.

This cost will be covered by the around $12.5 million worth of equity funding being stumped up by SUSI, and then gradually paid off by VPP participants leasing the systems for a flat fee of $35 a week – “the price of a coffee a day” – over 10 years.
By Sophie Vorrath on October 15, 2018

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