Residential solar PPA in Perth property development a ‘game changer’

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A residential property development in Perth’s northern suburbs is offering home buyers a rooftop solar deal that promises to cut their daytime power costs by 40 per cent.

The solar power purchase agreement, a first of its kind for Western Australia, is being trialled at Yolk Property Group’s Amble Estate in Girrawheen – a mix of more than 100 “affordable” houses, apartments and townhouses.

The deal includes the installation of a rooftop solar system of between 3.8 – 4.8kW, installed at no upfront cost.

In return, the household enters into a 10-year solar PPA the company that owns & installs the system, giving that company ownership and maintenance responsibilities for the solar system for the term of the contract.

A mockup image of the Amble Estate, to be developed. (Via Yolk Property Group.)

This gives the household daytime solar power at a guaranteed discounted rate of net 40 per cent less than the grid tariff offered by WA government-owned retailer, Synergy.

Any power consumed from the grid – such as overnight – will still be supplied via Synergy, and the household will be billed separately for that, minus credits for exported energy. At the end of the 10-year contract, home owners can buy the solar system for as little as $1.00, or have it removed.

As well as opening up access to rooftop solar to low-income households, the deal removes all risk for the consumer for the period of the contract – not only in terms of the performance of the rooftop solar system, but in terms of its output.

If solar power is not generated – on a cloudy day, for example – they are not charged for it. Or if it is not consumed for any reason, the household would be charged the same as they are paid by Synergy for power exported to the grid.

“This is not a marketing gimmick but a considered long-term solution to address rising household costs associated with the volatile power market,” said Yolk Property director Tao Bourton.

“The PPA allows residents to take advantage of significant savings on their solar electricity for an entire decade; after that, residents can take ownership of the solar equipment to enjoy free solar power for the life of the equipment, which is over 20 years, delivering cost savings to two generations,” he said.

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