Distributed energy resourcesProject Increasing the Uptake of Solar PV in Strata Residential Developments
The White Gum Valley Project is installing and analysing models for shared ownership of solar electricity generation and battery storage in medium and high-density developments. This report provides an overview of the market acceptance of the technology and systems applied.
Overall, findings at this early stage of the WGV Project are positive. Stakeholders generally accept the premise behind the solar PV and battery storage systems, and appreciate the environmental benefits and scalability of the project. Due to the project only having been fully online for less than two months, market acceptance of the trading platforms and associated energy costs is largely untested. However, stakeholders are generally in favour of the system where it can help reduce costs and environmental impact. CUSP therefore recommends that ongoing, periodic market acceptance analysis be undertaken to gauge the impact of similar projects to the WGV Project in relation to costs, and how attractive shared solar- battery systems are in the property market.
Greater communication and education should be provided to strata managers, tenants and homeowners upon taking up residency of properties with solar PV and battery storage systems. If stakeholders are provided more thorough education and frequent updates on the characteristics of their energy systems, the governance framework, and ways they can maximise the benefit from these systems, their experience and acceptance is more likely to be positive.
CUSP recommends future energy system projects be supported by a structured and comprehensive engagement and education program, which should include frequent touch points for the duration of the project. Communication and training sessions should be tailored for each party (homeowners, tenants strata managers, developers), as each set of stakeholders has subtly different information requirements. Regular education and reinforcement, via both passive and active media, will enable all parties to fully understand and utilise such systems. This in turn will allow the full benefits of projects such as the WGV Project to be realised.