- Lead Organisation
White Gum Valley, Western AustraliaARENA Program
- Start Date
- Project PartnersLandCorp, Electricity Networks Corporation, CRC for Low Carbon Living, City of Fremantle, Balance Utility SolutionsThis DER project was completed on 29 December 2020.
The Increasing the Uptake of Solar PV in Strata Residential Developments project will develop governance models to allow shared solar photovoltaics (PV), battery and monitoring systems to be used in medium density apartments. The governance models will be tested at 50 units of the White Gum Valley development in Perth.
This project installed 3 solar battery systems in the White Gum Valley development in Western Australia. It provided the basis for unlocking market uptake for solar photovoltaic (PV) energy solutions within strata developments in Australia, through innovative design, technology and shared governance.
The project developed a governance framework that overcomes barriers that preclude the uptake of solar PV panels in medium and high density residential developments. The governance framework was developed to be adaptable and scalable to suit different development types. The project also integrated electric vehicle charging and electricity sharing and trading approaches, and explored the associated challenges. In addition, the governance model allowed for trading of unused renewable energy by one unit, to either another unit or to the common property, if these exceeded their allocated portion.
From the policy perspective, this project has demonstrated the benefits of unbundled network costs for sharing DER on a local network. It found that in order to properly utilise the benefits of DER and to benefit from their full range of services, it is necessary to also unbundle network charges for local use.
The future energy market will consist of increasing levels of distributed energy. While rooftop solar has become widely accepted by the residential housing market, issues with shared ownership, lack of available frameworks and pricing incentives have prevented renewable energy to be taken up in apartments and other strata developments.
Few multi-unit solar-storage developments with shared governance currently exist and there is no clear Australian model for how to run them.
The governance models developed will examine the shared benefits, risks and costs between developers, owners, tenants, strata bodies and utilities. The models will also include the energy system design, billing, legal addendums for dwelling purchasers and dwelling leases.
The financial aspects of the governance models will be studied, tested and demonstrated in three different strata lot developments. The models developed are expected to be adaptable and scalable to suit different development types.
The project will provide scalable and generalisable models for shared ownership of solar and storage in medium density developments. The White Gum Valley site will serve as a demonstration of the effectiveness of the governance model in enabling greater solar PV and storage to be adopted across apartment housing in Western Australia and across other parts of Australia.
As Australians embrace rooftop solar at world-leading rates, work is underway to create a modern, fairer electricity system for the future.
There are a few certainties about life in Australia and these are two of them: we get plenty of sun and we’re increasingly opting for apartment living.
According to the twentieth century model of energy distribution, large power plants fuelled by coal, hydro or gas, generated electricity that was distributed via a centralised grid.