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Cooperatives are not new to North Queensland. In fact most canegrowers are still members of large cooperatives and many sugar mills are still owned and operated as cooperatives. This will however be the first large scale Concentrated Solar Thermal power utility which operates this way. Given the fact it will produce cheaper power for the members than any corporate for profit model can match, we do not expect it will be the last.

We are inviting almost 50,000 North Queenslanders to join SolReflection in this first round. This will allow us to build the community at a rapid rate and create a cooperative at a scale that can really disrupt the status quo in the energy market and maximise the benefits for the community. The size of the plant will be medium sized for current CST technology.
We will keep you up to date via email including notifying you on the day the cooperative is open. Co-op membership is limited so it's important you register so you don't miss out. Places will be given on a first in first serve basis based on the date you registered your interest. Register now.
If you pay for power and live in North Queensland then welcome home to cheaper community owned power which puts the local community above corporate profits. If you are not in our initial catchment area you can still support us and register as a future customer as we expect to be starting more coops up in your area with enough demand.
Yes! We will work together to ensure you continue to get the feed in tariff that is best for you including possibly selling to other coop members in your area AND cheaper power when you do need a top up from the grid.
As a community (customer) owned not for profit cooperative SolReflection is a major shift from the traditional "for profit" corporate owned power generators and retailers currently supplying our energy. The community comes firsts and profit for shareholders is not even a consideration. This means cheaper power and local community control over our power.
It’s pretty simple. It is not in the best interests of for profit corporations to put the control in the hands of customers. It takes the community to take that control and create their own power. The power price has continued to rise year in year out while sustainable generation cost have declined. And so the opportunity for SolReflection to change the energy market in Australia for the better became a reality.
We love your enthusiasm, but not quite yet. Right now we’re bringing potential cooperative members and supporters together to build the community and have a say in how it’s run. We will be launching the detailed technical studies and applying for construction finance next year – and when we launch the co-op we hope you will be there with us to take back your power!
We will operate initially in the heart of Queensland from Mackay to Cairns inclusive and co-op members / customers will be connected to the grid in that region.
In terms of the invitation for supporters, any person from anywhere can support this worlds first initiative. While this will be the first of it's kind we don't expect it will be the last and some supporters not in our initial catchment area may become customers in the future. That will be up to the community as with enough demand there is no limit to the number of cooperative that can be created.
Every household is different. It really depends on your power use. But please be aware your new power price will be fixed at a percentage BELOW the reference rate you pay when you join. The power price is scheduled to go up again this year and so those who join early will lock in a lower reference price than those who leave it until later.
We have set the registration to zero so we can get a good measure of how many people want to see this go ahead and how much electricity we need to design for. Later when enough interested people come forward the co-op will form. A membership fee may be determined but that will be up to the democratic processes of the co-op. As far as dontactions and contributions made now those funds will be used to extend the reach through marketing and also to develop the technical studies and finance and development application processes. Should these processes be successful co-op members will have a transferable membership in the operating co-op. This means that they will be able to leave the co-op and get their membership fee should one be determined back leaving a space for a new member to join the co-op. Please be aware that success will be significantly effected by the strength of community support for the project and so the best thing you can do to ensure its success and subsequently ensure your support comes to fruition is to tell all your friends and family about the opportunity to create this community owned power. With strong community support the application processes will be much more certain to succeed.
Construction funding will be sought and secured in the following priority.
1. Grants and donations or interest free loans from renewable energy organisations, government, supporters and philanthropists
2. Concessional loans from private and government sources (Eg. ARENA, NAIF)
3. Commercial loans from the debt finance market
Any loans will be repaid from the revenue generated through sales to members. Preliminary feasibility modeling indicates that up to 100% debt finance at current commercial interest rates can be repaid in 10-15 years with power being supplied at a rate below the current power price.

 

The retail price is made up of three main components, costs of retail, wholesale price, and distribution costs including transmission losses.Power price breakdownadding profit Power Price plus Profit
This price has doubled in the last decade with all of these components going up in price.
Also in our current electricity supply system all of these are run on a for profit basis by corporations. Last year our retailer and distribution corporation made $1.9 billion profit on our power supply. The wholesalers and in particular the approximately 40% supplied by privately owned corporations make even more profit.
These corporations control the despatchable generators that supply the power during peak demand periods in the evening and charge up to over 100 times the average wholesale power price because they hold the power, so to speak and literally, and so hold us to ransom. This has pushed our retail power price up.
Our community owned business model will take that power back and put the control back in the hands of the customers and being run not for profit enable the power price to come down.
Power Price less retail and profitPower Price Reduction from Not For Profit
Traditional energy providers have an outdated business model designed to sell you power and make profit for shareholders. SolReflection is different. We will supply our members on a not for profit basis, eliminating the profiteering from our public utility and removing the retail portion of your bill. The end result is cheaper power for locals with any surplus being feed back into the local community.
By registering now you can lock in your current price as the reference price. This will be used to calculate your power price for the next decade while the construction debt is paid off. You will never pay more than this reference price. After the construction debt is paid off the power price may decrease significantly but that will be a decision for the members at that time. In the highly unlikely event the power price goes down the reference price will also track that decrease.

CST technology uses thousands of ordinary mirrors to redirect and concentrate the sun, super-heating molten salts. This molten salt is stored for later use and can generate despatchable power 24hrs a day using conventional steam powered turbines in the same way gas, coal and nuclear power station generate electricity.
There are a few different technology providers around the world. This video explaining the technology was produced by one of these providers who will be building the power plant in South Australia. We are in no way associated with this company nor have we finalised negotiation on who will be our provider although we are in discussions with a few of them.

There are over 50 large scale CST plants in operation around the world with most being in Spain and the USA. Many of them have been in commercial operation for over a decade. This is not new technology and indeed Australia was once up with the global leaders in its development. Unfortunately we have let that slip with government funding being withdrawn and now need to catch back up. This is now a growing industry with several very large projects being planned in the Middle East and China is looking to implement it in a massive expansion.
SolReflection intends to negotiate a "build and train" deal with the global providers to ensure that at the end of this project Australia, Queensland, and in particular North Queensland are left with the skills and knowledge to once again be leaders in it's development and deployment. We have designed our business model to ensure the local community is empowered to build second and subsequent power plants as we anticipate great demand across Queensland and Australia for cheaper community owned power.

 

Another key factor in choosing this technology is that it utilises comparatively "low tech" materials and techniques. The reflectors are just plain old mirrors, the tower is made from just concrete and steel, and the heat absorption medium is fertiliser salts we actually already make near Rockhampton. There is no need to rely on overseas manufacturing or special construction skills. With training from the worlds leading experts we will be well equipped with the locally available materials and techniques to make more of these plants here.

There will be times of the day when the power generation from the CST plant exceeds demand. Also, all the time, there will be excess heat. These surplus energies can be used to create new industries which will be prioritised to produce the maximum amount of local career and employment opportunities. You see with the opportunity to focus on job creating "sister" industries such as waste recycling, water purification, or hydrogen generation using "surplus" heat and low cost power from the solar concentrating process the community outcomes are in the hands of the community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being owned and operated by the community for the community, emphasis can be put on community empowering programs focused on outcomes with youth, small business, and career creation. {expand on social programs and community outcomes ... youth traineeships, surpluses must be used for charitable purposes etc} Our jobs are careers not contracts! And best of all … we’re inviting all Australians to join us in building the community by becoming supporters. emPowering communities!

 

 

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Why Register Now?

The power price has been going up year on year for the last decade. In fact in that time is has doubled!! It will most likely continue to do so. By registering now you can lock in your current price as the reference price. Register NOW for FREE and save thousands on power costs later.