The Model for Community-Owned Solar project aimed to increase the uptake of community-owned solar (COS), and resulted in a win-win situation for the City of Campbelltown and COS investors.
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.
Under-utilised assets such as council-owned roof spaces could potentially be used to engage the public in community-owned energy projects.
The City of Campbelltown, a city Council in South Australia, conducted a multi-stage project to examine whether community-owned solar (COS) devices installed on council-owned roofs could be economically viable. Stage 1 of the project concluded that COS was a valid option at a small scale but one roof was not sufficient to justify the set-up costs.
Stage 2 expanded the scope of the research to a pipeline of projects across the eastern region of South Australia comprising seven local government councils. Over 60 roofs and building electricity bills were evaluated and a model for COS was identified that was affordable, easy to use and replicable.
The Model for Community-Owned Solar project took the research to Stage 3, aiming to broaden the uptake of COS through a lease arrangement with the Council. The result was a win-win situation for Council and COS investors.
It developed standard templates including standard lease agreements for groups and organisations to use in developing COS with their prospective host roof owners.
The provision of a standard set of documentation and templates will assist the fast roll-out of COS projects across the country.
The COS model could also be used by interested businesses and voluntary organisations such as sporting clubs as well as schools, provided they have the required electricity usage patterns.