This report details lessons learned while creating a bankable, replicable, financial model for community owned solar utilising local government buildings.
This project has been a valuable learning process for all involved, Council, Community Monica Oliphant Research (MOR) and its partners on issues that need to be dealt with in the establishment of a Community Owned Solar program. ARENA contributed to Stage 2 of the project which sought to create a bankable, replicable, model for community owned solar utilising local government buildings. The model was created for buildings that currently are billed for electricity using South Australian Power Networks (SAPN) General and Business two Rate Tariffs i.e. with no demand charge. The Model was used to identify sites that, if selected, would be able to deliver an expected rate of return to community investors greater than the average bank rate. Prior to making the model available, MOR was of the view that it should be trialed to ensure it was robust and, as predicted, could stand alone without further subsidy. A key learning was that a pipeline of projects would be needed to support the set up costs and ongoing administration costs associated with community owned solar in this form.