Rooftop solar might be a no-brainer for home owners with suitable roof space and a desire to reduce their electricity bills, but the equation gets a little more complex when applied to high density living. For many inner city and suburban apartment dwellers, there is no easy way to install PV panels, and so solar has not been a consideration. But this is changing. As we have noted on this site before, for those who own or rent existing apartments, shared solar is opening up as an option for tapping into cheaper, cleaner energy. Meanwhile, developers of new apartment complexes are starting to see solar as an integral part of the design. But how do you build solar into an apartment block?
One model we have seen used is the shared strata model, in which the solar (and possibly battery storage) system are owner-managed by the strata manager, and when an investor rents out an apartment, the tenant pays their (much reduced) electricity bill to the strata, which is used to offset the strata costs.
Perth-based developers, Psaros, have taken a different approach. In their recently completed 86-apartment project in Western Australia, the 180kW rooftop system is wired in such a way that it effectively gives each of the apartments its own 2kW PV array.
One Step Off the Grid: Sophie Vorrath: 29 July 2015
Key Words: technology