The 2018 Australian Regional Development Conference will be held at Twin Towns Services Club, Tweed Heads, NSW over 17-18 September.

Joining us at the conference is Mr Simon Crock, Coordinator Commercial Analysis at Sunshine Coast Council who will present on ‘Sunshine Coast Solar Farm’.


The Sunshine Cost Solar Farm builds on Council’s vision to be Australia’s most sustainable region – Healthy, Smart and Creative.  Council is the first local government in Australia to build a utility scale solar farm.
Council is Australia’s first local government to offset its entire electricity consumption across all its facilities and operations from renewable energy it generates.

The Solar Farm will:
• see Council proactively take control of its electricity supply to combat rising electricity costs
• provide Council facilities and operations with renewable electricity and help the region transition to a clean energy economy
• employ an innovative business model that releases significant project value underpinned by extensive business case development and financial analysis
• complement the region’s 40,000 solar PV rooftops (equivalent to 124MW)
• reduce carbon emissions by 25,000 tCO2e per year
• deliver $22 million in savings (after costs) for ratepayers from Council’s lower electricity costs over the next 30 years reducing pressure on rate rises.

A consistent rise in the price of electricity supply agreements (‘ESAs’) over the past decade has placed an increased financial burden on ratepayers.
Sunshine Coast Council has implemented an innovative electricity strategy that incorporates building the 15MW Sunshine Coast Solar Farm. Renewable generators typically sell electricity at a discount under Power Purchase Agreements (‘PPA’) due to the uncertainty of future generation levels. A consumer-generator could choose to buy electricity under an ESA and sell generated electricity under a PPA. However, buying at a premium and selling at a discount results in giving away significant value. Owning a 15MW generation asset enables Council to contract with a retailer to buy and sell electricity in the wholesale market at the prevailing spot price. This strategy addresses the loss of value under the ESA/PPA combination and enables release of significant project value.

1. Disruptive technologies bring opportunities.
2. Do not settle for doing nothing.
3.If you take on risk you can release value.


Simon is a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years Government finance experience working with the Western Australian and Queensland Governments before moving to the Sunshine Coast. Simon’s team developed the business case for the Sunshine Coast Solar Farm and he has been heavily involved in the procurement, contract development, design and construction, operation and maintenance phase of the project. Simon developed the retail electricity strategy that incorporates the generation asset.

For more information on the 2018 Australian Regional Development Conference this September and to secure your spot, please visit


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