The power of community funded solar is brought to light in the case of Baker’s Maison. The 1000 square metre system, valued at almost $400,000, was funded by 20 private investors, made possible through the ClearSky Solar program.
The industrial bakery out of Revesby, which employs 120 people, previously spent hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on their energy bills. Large scale ovens and blast freezers accounting for much of this expenditure. The solar system on the buildings rooftop is part of a greater energy saving effort for the company.
While the site had an existing solar system, Smart Commercial Solar was enlisted to bolster the installation with an additional 230kW, made possible by a community funded Power Purchase Agreement.
Investors in the project will receive a 7 per cent return on their investment over 7 to 10 years while Baker’s Maison purchases this energy at a significantly lower price than grid-purchased energy rates. After this period, Baker’s Maison, headed by Pascal Chaneliere, will own the panels and have free use of the energy they produce. A financial win for all parties, with the added benefit of knowing they’re investing sustainably in renewable energy.
ClearSky director Warren Yates has pointed to the opportunity for other businesses to implement their own investment into more efficient operations at no extra cost; “There’s a huge appetite out there for people to invest in renewable energy, we just need more projects.”
Chaneliere can attest to a job well done, and believes that utilising community funding is certainly the smartest way to attain solar, and the resulting energy cost reduction.