WA company Starling Energy Group has secured up to $50 million from a Swiss investment fund to install solar panels and batteries in about 5,000 homes throughout the State.

The deal completed with SUSI Partners this month would allow Starling to market a standard installation of 6.6 kilowatts of solar panels, a 7.2 kW battery and an inverter to homeowners for a payment of $36.50 a week over 10 years.

Starling managing director Brian Innes said homes that consumed more than about 14 to 18 kilowatt hours a day of electricity were likely to save money.

He said the agreement could be transferred to new owners if the house was sold and terminated early by buying the equipment outright.

Installation of the concept began this year for the Dunsborough Community Energy Project but the future $50 million rollout will be under the Plico Energy brand.

Mr Innes said Starling’s role was to design, install, manage and maintain the systems.┬áSUSI will fund the rollout and together with an association controlled by the homeowners own a special investment vehicle that in turn owns the equipment.

After 10 years SUSI’s shares would be transferred to the association and with the fund’s investment recouped, the monthly charge would fall to only cover operating costs.

Mr Innes said the generation and storage capacity of the systems would form a virtual power plant big enough to take part in the energy market.

He said he expected most interest would come from families with children at home as they had relatively high power consumption.

Mr Innes said the main advantage for homeowners compared with buying the equipment directly was assistance on how best to manage their load and battery throughout the life of the agreement.

Article courtesy of The West Australian; first published 30 July 2019.