Solar PPA Proves Popular At New Perth Housing Estate

Amble Estate solar PPA

Solar panel systems installed under a power purchase agreement (PPA) have been popular at a housing development in the Perth suburb of Girrawheen.

Up to 129 dwellings will be built at The Amble Estate, which is situated on the former site of Hainsworth Primary School at Girrawheen – around 18 kilometres north of Perth’s CBD.

Under the PPA arrangement, Infinite Energy installs a solar power system on a home at no upfront cost, with the household paying for the solar electricity consumed. Infinite Energy owns the system and is responsible for its maintenance over the ten-year term of the agreement.

The Amble Estate web site says the solar electricity used is charged at a rate 40% less than Synergy’s A1 residential tariff.  Any mains grid electricity consumed is charged at the A1 grid tariff rate, which is currently a flat rate of just under 29c per kilowatt-hour (plus a supply charge of just over $1.03 a day). Homeowners receive two electricity bills – one from Synergy and one from Infinite Energy.

As for any surplus electricity generated by the system and the solar feed in tariff; according to the FAQ:

“Infinite Energy will only charge you at a rate that is equal to the Feed-In-Tariff that Synergy will pay you for solar electricity exported to the grid. This credit will be on your Synergy bill, meaning the net effect will be that you will only pay for solar electricity that you consume.”

At the end of the 10-year contract term, Infinite Energy will either remove the system if requested or its ownership will be transferred to the homeowner “for as little as $1.00”.  The product disclosure statement for the arrangement can be viewed here. I couldn’t find a mention of the capacity of the solar power systems installed, so it may vary depending on the residence.

90% Sign On For Solar PPA

It appears there have been no shortage of takers for the deal, which has been running for over a year and offered as part of a “complimentary” Sustainable Living Package. According to a Western Australian government media release, 90 per cent of homebuyers have signed on for the solar PPA1.

WA Housing Minister Peter Tinley and Girrawheen MLA Margaret Quirk visited The Amble Estate yesterday.

“The Amble Estate is proving popular with buyers looking for diverse, well-located housing in Girrawheen,” said Minister Tinley. “I was pleased to meet one of the new homeowners and hear how the solar PPA system and a range of sustainability initiatives had saved them money while supporting the environment.”

Other features of the Sustainable Living Package include water-wise front landscaping with fruit trees, an irrigated vegetable garden and $1,000 towards one of a set list of upgrades installed by the purchaser’s builder of choice.

According to Ms. Quirk, the Amble Estate project will support 185 jobs during its construction phase.

Footnotes

  1. Land-only is also available at Amble Estate – it’s not clear from the statement if this figure also covers those who have just purchased land
About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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