A Power Purchase Agreement is a contract between two parties to buy and sell electricity, the party that generates electricity will agree to sell some or all of the electricity produced at a set price per unit (kWh). In return the party that consumes electricity, will agree to buy some or all of the electricity produced. The term of the contract can range between 7 to 20 years.
The amount of electricity that a solar system will produce each year is relatively constant and the price paid for each unit of energy consumed is known for the duration of the contract. Depending on a buildings energy consumption profile the solar system could provide 20-50% of the total energy usage. Therefore the cost of this proportion of electricity is set, and known (hedged) for the duration of the contract period.
When installing solar panels on a roof there are several ways they can be attached. Depending on the design and age of the roof we can use non-penetrative methods to attach the panels, this results in no manipulation to the water tightness of the roof. Alternatively, the racking can be bolted in place using the existing screws, a durable rubber EPDM pad is placed between the bolt and roofing sheet, and high grade sealant is used to ensure the fixture will remain watertight for the lifetime of the system. Depending on the site layout Solar Bay may propose installing solar car shades, often these are a more efficient method of capturing solar energy and will also not require any changes to the roof.
Solar Bay uses top of the range equipment and Clean Energy Council accredited installers who install solar systems to our high standards. This, combined with solar systems having zero moving parts results in limited maintenance that needs to be completed. However, regular inspections are completed to ensure all components are operating as expected and the system is operating at maximum efficiency. Inverters have an expected lifespan of between 10-15 years so these may be replaced at some period during the power purchase agreement period.
As a businesses operations change and tenants come and go there is potential for the energy consumption profile to also change. Solar Bay will monitor the total energy consumption of the building and notify the stakeholders if there is opportunity to add more solar to better address their power requirements. If electricity consumption decreases we may look to add batteries to store the excess generation.
There may be times when excess electricity is produced above the requirements of the building or business, this may occur at peak sunshine periods or when appliances/machinery are undergoing maintenance. Any excess energy produced from the solar system will be sold into the grid. Solar Bay typically only charges for electricity consumed on-site.
Billing will completed monthly or quarterly in arrears.
No, the technology installed will provide remote readings of the amount of energy produced by the solar system, and the amount of energy consumed. All meters installed will comply to NEM Class 1 Accuracy standards.
Batteries will play a key part of the transformation of the Australian Electricity Market, in some circumstances these are a profitable proposition for retail customers due to the pricing structure of small energy consumers. However at this point in time the cost of batteries is still too high for them to be profitably installed to complement a solar system. However Solar Bay is closely monitoring the progress in the industry and will contact a customer when batteries are a financially beneficial investment. These may used to store solar, off peak grid power, or to provide behind the meter supply management to reduce a clients capacity charges.
An embedded networks is where several, often unrelated tenants or business owners operating within the same building have their electricity connection combined from the grids point of view. So rather than each party individually negotiating a contract with a retailer and connecting to the grid a third party will bulk negotiate their contract and provide all parties with a better rate. This also has the benefit of allowing solar to be combined into the embedded network so all parties can receive the benefits of a solar system. Depending on the size of the embedded network Solar Bay will either install the system or use a partner to facilitate the installation.
Other companies will design and install a solar system that is sold to the business owner, this is one method to receive the benefits of solar. However there is a conflict of interest between the seller and buyer under a transactional model. The seller is looking to maximise margins which usually involves minimising the labour cost of the installation and using low cost equipment, which can potentially result in quality issues over the 25-30 year lifespan of the system. There are also ongoing operational costs such as system maintenance, Large Scale Renewable Energy Certificate trading and complying with changing regulations. As Solar Bay retains ownership of the system and essentially sells electricity rather than solar systems these conflict of interests aren’t present. Additionally, we have a specialised team that can manage the ongoing operational aspects of a large scale solar system, and have access to competitive finance available for low carbon initiatives that allow us to sell electricity at significant discounts to current grid prices.