Free Engineer - Blog Post

Why Pay for Solar Panels When You Can Get Solar Energy with No Outlay? [Solar-Energy-as-a-Service]

The impact of rising electricity costs goes directly to corporates’ bottom line, and many are claiming they will be unable to continue to operate economically at current electricity prices.

What if you can:

• Pay a c/ kWh rate about 40% less than the current c/ kWh that you’re paying?

• Access solar energy without having to purchase the system?

• Fix (hedge) a significant amount your future energy cost without capital investment?

• Benefit from a large solar plant without virtually any risks?

• Have maintenance fully covered by the Solar-Energy-as-a-Service partner? – so easy and no hassle

PPA pictures 3.jpg

Solar-Energy-as-a-Service (SEaaS) is an activity where “a business provides (including supply, engineering and finance), installs and maintains, at no initial cost, a solar plant to a customer and in exchange, the customer buys the electricity provided by the solar panels for an agreed (c/ kWh) price for an agreed period."

One form of Solar-Energy-as-a-Service is commonly known as Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). There are different terms and types of PPA in the market. Therefore, if you want to intelligently evaluate the terrific benefits and flexibility of SEaaS, then please don't prematurely associate it with any previous PPA discussion you had.

Basically, our consortium provides businesses their own, exclusive solar power-stations. Our experienced multi-disciplined consortium will design, develop and deliver a tailored solution.

10 benefits of Solar-Energy-as-a-Service:

  1. Pay as low as 9c/ kWh for solar energy
  2. Simply ‘Pay for what you use’ – If the solar energy provider produces less than the forecast or fails to produce for a period of time then the end-user won’t have to pay for the shortfall of solar energy
  3. $0 capital investment, so the ROI is virtually infinite
  4. Lease your roofspace out – make money from your roof without any investment
  5. Maintenance is fully the responsibility of the solar energy provider – It’s in their best interest to install a premium system and keep it performing at its best
  6. Flexibility – The agreement can be transferred (usually at no cost) to the incoming occupier or the next business owner
  7. You can preserve capital for other important investments such as business expansion
  8. Cashflow positive from day 1
  9. The end-user may own the system at the end of the term for as low as $1
  10. Energy costs remain as OPEX and usually will be 100% tax deductible

Who can benefit from SEaaS?

Any small, medium, large or multi-site electricity users can benefit subject to assessment. Creative solution can be formulated for tenants, owner-occupiers or landlords to benefit.

What if the grid electricity cost drops below the solar contract rate?

This is unlikely as the solar energy cost has dropped significantly recently and grid electricity price has increased considerably. The below figure is the annual average wholesale market spot price forecast, BAU, per state in the NEM as shown in PwC report: “Optimising Energy Procurement via Corporate PPAs”

Spot price forecast.jpg

It is obvious above that upward trend is expected on electricity price.

What if you don’t have enough roofspace?

In principle Solar-Energy-as-a-Service can take 2 forms:

a.  Direct (behind-the-meter)

It means physical connection between the renewable energy generator (plant) to the consumer.

Direct PPA.jpg

b.  Virtual (financial/ synthetic)

This means the solar farm can be set up remotely from the end-user and it can sell directly to the wholesale electricity market. The end-user (consumer) then can benefit through Contract for Difference between the agreed ‘strike’ solar energy price and the spot price.

Virtual PPA diagram.jpg

Source: PwC report - “Optimising Energy Procurement via Corporate PPAs”

This is the answer to corporates whose roofspace is not big enough to cover their consumption. Free Engineer (FE) can help our clients find uncontracted solar farms around Australia and arrange virtual PPA, subject to eligibility.

Please read further on this link: Part 2 of the article - Factors to Consider in SEaaS

In conclusion, with all the benefits above, it’s no surprise that prominent industry leaders and institutions such as Telstra, Carlton United Breweries, Coca-Cola Amatil, University of New South Wales, University of Melbourne have gone ahead with this smart, no-brainer strategy. Why not you and why not take control of your energy costs now? Obviously, you'll need an independent, specialist advisors with technical background to ensure you get the best solution.

Please contact our advisor and engineer NOW to book a FREE consultation.

Posted on Jan 11, 2019

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