June 13 (Renewables Now) - UK-based solar and smart energy solutions firm Lightsource BP is preparing to offer residential customers in Australia an option to go solar at no upfront cost under the power purchase agreement (PPA) model.
A local unit of the company, Lightsource Labs Australia Pty Ltd (LS Labs), has requested an individual exemption from the requirement to hold a retailer authorisation under the National Energy Retail Law. The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) accepted the application on June 7 and will be gathering submissions from interested stakeholders by July 10.
In its application LS Labs says it could launch the product offering as soon as this month if granted a retail exemption. It is targeting the states of New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland and Victoria.
For its customers in Australia, the company will supply, install, operate and maintain a solar photovoltaic (PV) array, a battery and a smart metering system and then sell them renewable power at a fixed price under the PPA terms. The price per kWh will depend on the term of the contract, which could be of up to 20 years. The customer will be able to buy the system at any time after the second year of the PPA.
In England, LS Labs (UK) has already built a fleet of 359 solar and battery residential PPAs, totalling 1.2 MW of solar and 2.5 MW of energy storage capacity. LS Labs says it would use the experience gained there when making its Australian product offering.
Last month, Lightsource BP announced the acquisition of Internet of Things (IoT) specialist Ubiworx Systems of Ireland in support of a plan for the global launch of a smart-home solution. Kareen Boutonnat, COO of Lightsource BP, said at the time that the “power of the home” will play a key role in shaping the new energy future, where the energy market goes beyond just monitoring and controlling consumption.
Lightsource BP was formed when UK oil and gas giant BP Plc (LON:BP) acquired a 43% stake in Lightsource Renewable Energy Investments Ltd last year.