3. The future is in microgrids and virtual power plants
Reduced reliance on the grid is a big selling point for both developers and buyers.
“Microgrid and virtual power plant technology not only promotes power sharing between neighbours and homes, but also means properties within a development need to draw from the grid significantly less as a group,” Williams said.
Microgrids and virtual power plants are increasingly gaining more attention from both developers and buyers with the integration of blockchain technology in Kurnell (south of Sydney) making global headlines.
“At Natural Solar, we’ve employed a team of microgrid specialists able to develop customised solutions for new properties.
“We see this as a huge investment in the future of how groups of people can use their power, which will take a great development and transform it into something exceptional,” Williams said.
4. Embedded networks and power sharing
In any building, some of the largest costs involve powering communal locations including lights in hallways, gym facilities or lifts.
This is leading to the exploration of embedded networks for many developers and strata companies who are looking to offset these costs.
“Embedded networks not only benefit residents by using solar and battery power to run these communal elements, but can also act as an additional revenue stream for strata and developers,” Williams said.
“Additional and ongoing revenues can be created through embedded networks, while still offering far lower electricity rates for homeowners than what is available through a traditional retailer.
“Additional flexibility through customised configurations for a development can allow surplus solar power to offset communal facilities.
“In doing so, an ongoing reduction in strata levies can be achieved, further increasing the attractiveness to buyers by way of ongoing reduced living costs.
“This can be a key driver for consumer decision making, particularly in the current normalising market where a point of difference is more important than ever.
“We also see consumers feeling a greater sense of community by using an embedded network.
“By joining together to purchase electricity in a larger scale, this greater buying power reduces the cost for everyone within the development.”
5. Avoid paying costly grid infrastructure upgrades
For many developer scenarios renewables aren’t a luxury – they’ve become a necessity when it comes to allowing a build to occur.
“Many of the developers we work with are driven to move to battery storage based on the sky-high costs of grid upgrades,” Williams said.
In some instances where it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to make these upgrades, developers can instead elect to power these homes through a combination of battery, solar and the traditional grid.
“Our team of engineers at Natural Solar have developed a range of solutions designed to reduce the volume of power drawn from the grid by up to 90 per cent.
“This solution has meant that in certain cases developers have had to spend a fraction of the anticipated price, while receiving all of the added benefits of battery power and storage solutions,” Williams said.
To find out more, visit the website to create your own customised solar and battery solution for your next development.