An aerial view of a SolShare solar panel installation

ARENA has provided $220,000 in funding towards Allume Energy’s world-first solution that will enable The Salvation Army to on-sell any solar energy to other tenants within the building, all at no up-front capital cost to The Salvation Army.

By utilising the SolShare’s ability to share solar power to multiple units within a building, The Salvation Army will purchase solar energy under a ‘classic’ PPA, and on-sell any unused solar to the other tenants in the building for a profit under a secondary, on-selling PPA.

The Salvation Army will become the solar energy retailer within the building. Other tenants will have the opportunity to buy cheap, renewable solar energy from the salvation army and know that when they do, their money will be contributing towards their great cause.

Overview

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are the perfect candidate for solar energy: socially responsible organisations who can use the money saved on their energy bills to help their good causes. Often though, there are challenges for NGOs to gain access to rooftop solar: the capital costs are high and their premises are often in multi-unit buildings.

By using the SolShare, we easily solve the issue of supplying solar to multiple, separately metered units within a building – it’s our bread and butter!

But how do we overcome the capital cost that comes with installing a large solar system?

The answer is via a power purchase agreement, often referred to as a PPA. A solar PPA is where an external funding body will fund the capital outlay and maintain a rooftop solar system and sell the generated energy to the tenants within the building. The solar energy is sold at a lower rate to the energy that is supplied by the grid, therefore, generating a ‘win-win’ scenario where the PPA provider generates a return on investment by selling the solar and the tenants get cheap, renewable energy at no upfront capital cost by buying the solar. Simply put, at no upfront cost, a tenant can enjoy cheaper, renewable energy that’s been generated on the roof of the building.

A diagram representing a classic PPA arrangement
A diagram representing a classic PPA arrangement

This is a great solution but how can we make it more beneficial to the NGO and more appealing to the other tenants within the building?

We create a model where the NGO becomes the solar energy retailer.

By using the SolShare, we can direct the solar energy to the NGO, creating the highest savings for them. But instead of wasting any excess solar energy that they don’t use by sending it to the grid the SolShare will direct it to the other tenants in the building, who will buy it from the NGO.

It’s a fantastic solution that will not only make better use of the solar energy by maximising onsite consumption but will also generate revenue for the NGO, helping contribute to their good causes.

A diagram representing a SolShare on-selling PPA arrangement
A diagram representing the SolShare on-selling PPA arrangement

ARENA Funding

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is contributing $220,000 of funding towards this $1.04 million project. The funding will go towards the technical and legal development of the SolShare to enable the solar PPA on-selling functionality. More information can be found on the ARENA project page.

Consortium

Allume Energy – Project Lead

Allume will supply the SolShare and developing the solar sharing algorithm to enable excess solar energy not used by the NGO to be directed to the other units within the building. We will also manage the on-selling billing functionality via the SolShare.

Green Peak Energy

Green Peak Energy is the project financer. They will fund the solar PV capital equipment and sell the generated solar energy from these systems to the NGOs under a standard PPA.

The Salvation Army

As a world-renowned organisation, The Salvation Army’s commitment to creating a better world cannot be understated. They have kindly agreed to install the first pilot system on one of their buildings in Glenorchy, Tasmania. The outcome from the pilot site will see The Salvation Army save money on their energy bills by buying solar energy when they need it and make money by selling solar energy to the other tenants when they don’t.

I Want Energy

I Want Energy is one of the most established and respected solar installers in Tasmania. In their 10+ years of operation, they have installed over 3,000 solar systems, are Fronius Service Level Plus Partners, certified Tesla Powerwall Installers, and were one of the world’s first SolShare Installation Partners.

Sub-Buying Tenants

The unseen but key members of the project! The sub-buying tenants will be reducing their carbon footprint and saving money on their energy bills by buying solar energy from the NGOs when there is excess solar supply.

Technology

This ground-breaking solution is only achievable with the use of the SolShare’s unique solar distribution technology. As the world’s first behind-the-meter solar power division control system, the SolShare is able to distribute the solar energy generated from a single solar system to multiple, separately metered units within the same building.

Development

Allume will develop the SolShare’s algorithms to enable the on-selling of excess solar energy to other units within the building.

As this is the first time that an on-selling PPA will be created via the SolShare, legal frameworks will be created to enable the other tenants within the building to buy the solar energy off the NGO.

Functionality testing will take place at the pilot site in Glenorchy, proving the concept for a wider rollout.

Project Goals

Following successful installation, The Salvation Army will be running the world’s first on-selling PPA, enabling them to be the solar energy retailer in their building at no capital cost to them. This will result in a fantastic list of benefits for all parties involved:

  • Solar energy supplied to The Salvation Army at no upfront capital cost
  • Solar energy supplied to The Salvation Army reducing their carbon footprint
  • Solar energy supplied to other tenants in the building at no upfront capital cost
  • Solar energy supplied to other tenants in the building reducing their carbon footprint
  • Other tenants buying solar energy off The Salvation Army, helping contribute to their great cause

For more information or media enquiries, contact Allume