How does it work?
A Virtual Power Plant is not a new concept and has been reported on by CSIRO, Energy Networks Australia, Australian Energy Market Operator and Bloomberg. All formed the opinion that the future of our grid lies with decentralised PV and batteries.
Our uniqueness though is due to our sustainability focused funding partners SUSI, our lower capital costs, an Australian based research and development team and Redback Energy’s operations and management capabilities. It means we can deliver this without the need for government handouts and bureaucracy.
Redback Energy and Susi have been developing this idea over the past 12 months after meeting at the All Energy conference in Melbourne. Redback Energy’s business is focused upon helping communities to install and manage VPP systems and Susi partners are focused on financing the transition to clean energy globally.
It has been my role as Lead project activator to challenge both Redback Energy and Susi partners to come up with a model that was inclusive and beneficial to everybody in the community. That is why you will find in the structure a fundraising component (community fund) to give back to the community. There is also a “Utilities support fund” which can help people experiencing major life events such as financial problems, job loss, and illness.
This project has been made possible due to our sustainable investment partners SUSI and our design and technology team at WA based Redback Energy.
SUSI will provide $12.5 + million worth of equity funding to ensure participants do not have to pay upfront costs to be part of the project. This will enable all community members to be 90% renewable in their homes. Redback Energy procure the solar panels and inverters, professionally install all systems, offer ongoing tech support and will run an operations center to manage the Virtual Power Plant.
So what does this mean for you as a homeowner or business? For a flat fee of $36.50 per week, each home or business will receive 1 Redback 5.5 KVA Inverter, 6,6kw of Suntech 300w solar panels, 9.6kwh of Pylontech (LiFePo4) batteries and installation by trained installers, included. Each participant will have access to advanced software interface with all metering included and lifetime service and replacement as part of the lease agreement.
For every system installed, Redback Energy will provide $250 to the Dunsborough Community Energy Project “community fund”. This money will then be distributed to fund local community projects in schools, sporting clubs and or other projects such as a Dunsborough community pool.
Over the 10-20 year lifecycle of this project additional income and dividends will be attracted to the Dunsborough Community Energy Project, potentially raising up to $8million in funds. The community participants will then be able to vote on how this is spent – lowering energy costs further or giving back to local community projects.