The New South Wales government is set to kick off a possible 10MW rooftop solar roll-out across public buildings and infrastructure throughout the state, after selecting a panel of “prequalified, carefully vetted” solar power purchase agreement suppliers.
The five solar companies – AE-VP Bid Co, Infinite Energy, KGM Services, Pardaman and Solgen – were notified of their selection for the panel on Thursday, six months after the scheme was first announced.
The aim of the program is to give NSW government agencies access to solar power without the upfront cost, and with relatively low degree of difficulty and risk, with all service components bundled together.
As part of the procurement process, the PPAs also incorporate funding and management of the solar systems over their lifetime, leaving the customer to simply purchase the solar energy generated.
The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage says that by using the solar PPA scheme, its agencies can gain access to power prices that are “typically” 20 per cent cheaper than government contract rates.
The solar companies, meanwhile, get the benefit of a captive customer base, with nothing to lose, and energy savings, price certainty and environmental credibility to gain.
According to one of the panel members, *Infinite Energy, past OEH assessments of NSW government electricity contracts suggest in excess of 1500 sites (including Department of Education sites) may be suitable for solar PPAs.
Total potential for installation identified through this survey process is in excess of 10MW, it said. And while local government sites had not been identified, they were also eligible to access the pre-qualified panel.
“We’re incredibly proud to be one of only a small handful of companies who were selected to offer solar PPAs to local and state government organisations,” *Infinite Energy managing director Aidan Jenkins said on Thursday.
According to the NSW OEH website, the Sustainable Government team is looking for suitable sites to kick off the solar PPA program.
This article was originally published on RenewEconomy’s sister site, One Step Off The Grid, which focuses on customer experience with distributed generation. To sign up to One Step’s free weekly newsletter, please click here.