Victorian clean energy company SunPlan Energy has started construction on Australia’s largest solar rooftop network, creating an off-grid commercial network that will save businesses thousands.
The $100 million project will utilise the equivalent of 300 hectares of unused commercial rooftops across the nation, generating 10MW of power each month.
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The solar panels are being installed and paid for by SunPlan through the backing of investors, with the company choosing to sell the captured power directly to the building occupants at a 50% cost reduction. The reduction will be locked in for 10 years.
Landlords will be incentivised to participate, receiving a small annual income for the use of their roof. Thus, this is a win-win for businesses, commercial landlords and the environment.
Phase two of the initiative aims to generate 200MW of solar power across 600 hectares of commercial rooftops in the next two years. The project will also create a further 6,000 labouring jobs across Australia.
The initiative is the brainchild of United Solar Group founder and CEO Richard Vargas, who is sick of watching business crumble under sky-rocketing energy prices, and a nation slow to transition to renewables because of the cost.
“The energy retailers have brought this on themselves quite frankly,” Vargas says.
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“They’ve monoplised the market for too long and it’s time to take the power back.
“Further, there’s no need to dedicate precious greenspace or farmland to building solar farms when we’ve got so many commercial rooftops sitting there empty.
“We’ve already had 100 plus businesses sign up who, like us at United Solar Group, are passionate about the transition to renewables, while at the same time saving money.”