Salvo’s to trial Allume shared solar solution with ARENA backing
Renters have long been left out of the residential solar revolution as property owners struggle with the idea of paying for a PV system when lower power bills will benefit someone else. The problem is more pronounced in blocks of flats with shared rooftops. Some designers have come up with complex bespoke systems where solar is shared among tenants in a block but it’s not common. For a start, all owners in a block must agree to want to install solar. It can be a can of worms.
Things are much more simple where a block of multiple flats has one owner, which is why social housing is an obvious place to start.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has recognised the importance of opening up the rentals market to solar and announced is providing $220,000 in funding to Melbourne-based company Allume Energy to deliver its rooftop solar pilot project with The Salvation Army and Green Peak Energy.
Allume’s project involves the installation of 487kW of rooftop solar across 10 multi-unit properties that are either owned or tenanted by The Salvation Army and other non-government organisations. This allows the property owners or tenants to save on their power bills and generate revenue by on-selling any excess solar power that they don’t use to other tenants.
The first site to be installed will be on The Salvation Army’s Glenorchy City Corps in Glenorchy, Tasmania.
Each system will utilise Allume Energy’s SolShare technology that allows the energy produced by a single solar system to be distributed behind-the-meter to separately metered units, like those in apartments, commercial buildings and retail strips. Traditional rooftop solar setups do not have this capability and so can’t distribute the energy they produce to multiple, separately metered units.
The Salvation Army will enter into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with project financier Green Peak Energy, and become the solar energy retailer of the building, leveraging the SolShare technology’s ability to distribute and meter individual tenants in proportion with their own individual energy consumption.
The unique ability to distribute solar power to other units in the building also allows The Salvation Army to generate additional revenue by on-selling excess solar energy. This on-sold solar energy will still be cheaper than grid supplied energy, ensuring everyone in the building benefits from cheaper, renewable power.
If the $1.04 million pilot project is successful, Allume Energy intends to roll out the project across the not-for-profit sector.