Sydney-siders keen to invest in solar, but perhaps without the rooftop to do so, can now buy their own piece of the action, after the company behind a 520kW PV array in Sydney’s CBD opened for public investment on Tuesday.
Sydney Renewable Power Company (SRPC), an unlisted public company, which has the 25-year concession to finance and manage the PV array on Sydney’s new International Convention Centre (ICC), is offering 519 unlisted shares, each worth $2,750 – and equivalent to about 1kW of solar – to community and retail investors.
The goal of the scheme is to raise $1,427,250 to repay the loan used to finance the development of the huge project – at the size of 12 tennis courts, it is the biggest single PV installation in Sydney’s CBD – and to give people who want to invest in clean energy accessible investment options.
“So many people in the community want to see a faster transition towards renewable energy generation than is currently occurring,” said SRPC founding director Andy Cavanagh-Downs.
“SRPC provides those individuals the opportunity to speed up this transition by allocating capital to the financing of such projects.”
SRPC, meanwhile, will generate revenue through a 25-year power off-take agreement with Darling Harbour Live to sell all the electricity generated by the panels. It expects to be cash flow positive from the first invoice it issues in 2017.
For shareholders, the company expects to begin paying dividends of at least $35,000 after the first seven months of operation, amounting to about $105 per share after the first year. That figure should increase each year, since the power purchase agreement includes a price increase of 3 per cent each year.
The company will also divide up its capital each year, distributing it to investors, since it aims to wind up after 25 years.
“SRPC is more than just an infrastructure investment,” said SRPC chair Allegra Spender. Aalongside the expected financial returns, it is designed to deliver social and environmental benefits. This is a fabulous opportunity for Sydney-siders who want to own their own clean energy infrastructure.”
The installation in on-track to start delivering power to ICC Sydney in mid-December, and is expected to contribute up to 5 per cent of the building’s power needs.