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Huge Australian Solar Project Seeks Public Investors

17 Nov 14:00 by Steve Walia

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The Sydney Renewable Power Company has announced that it will be selling 519 shares to the public, making it the first type of community renewables project to issue a public share offer in Australia.

The company's solar installation - with 520W of green energy capacity - is already notable for being the biggest of its kind. It is situated on the roof of Darling Harbour's International Convention Centre and spans an area equivalent to a dozen tennis courts. Once fully operational, it will produce enough green energy to meet the power needs of 100 homes annually.

The company is also notable for being created and run by a board of volunteers - again, another first for Australia, given its profit-making goals. The company's founders were keen to find a way to engage with the public directly and raise awareness of green energy solutions.

The founding director, Andrew Cavanagh-Downs, said that there was a change in the move to a low-carbon economy, and that change was naturally difficult to deal with. He said that the SRPD aimed to involve as many people as possible in the process to help that change become embedded faster.

The unlisted public company will sell 519 shares and raise nearly $1.5 million AUS in the process to repay the original project financing loan.

The International Convention Centre will purchase all of the power produced by the solar installation under a Power Purchase Agreement. It will also sell its renewable energy certificates.

Each share will cost around $2,750 AUS and be broadly equivalent to owning 1kw of green energy capacity. The company expects to pay dividends of $35,000 AUS within the first year, equating to just over $100 per share after one year of operation.