Sunly begins sharing revenue from large solar parks with communities  

Sunly Estonia starts paying a solar park fee to Estonian municipalities to share the parks’ revenue with local communities. The first agreement was signed with Lääne-Nigula municipality in Risti on 17 May. The company plans to follow the same policy for its next large solar parks. 

Sunly and Lääne-Nigula municipality signed a cooperation agreement under which Sunly will pay 0.6% of the sales revenue of Risti solar power plant to the local community, thus supporting the development of the region. For example, at an electricity price of 5 cents/kWh, the corresponding fee would be around €75,000 per year. The agreement is valid for 25 years, which is the minimum expected lifetime of a solar park.  

Community support and cooperation are essential to promote the uptake of renewable energy. Risti is a good example of this, as the solar park solution here was specifically designed on the advice of local people so as to minimise its visual impact. Our first solar park revenue-sharing agreement was also developed in cooperation with the locals,” said Sunly co-founder and CEO Priit Lepasepp.  

Lääne-Nigula municipality plans to use the funds to promote the economic and cultural development of the Risti district and local life in general. Other priorities include climate change resilience, including mitigating the direct impact of the operation of Sunly’s photovoltaic power station.  

Although the law provides a tolerating fee for wind turbines, solar parks are not subject to such charges. We believe that if a solar park covers hundreds of hectares, it is fair to share the revenue with the local community,” said Janno Randmaa, mayor of Lääne-Nigula municipality. “It is also important for the municipality that companies operating on its territory could, if they so wish, sign a contract to buy electricity generated from solar energy at a more favourable price,” added Randmaa.  

At the agreement-signing event, Sunly presented the construction plan, timetable and its future plans to local residents as well. Risti solar park is part of Sunly’s larger hybrid park project, where a solar and wind farm share the same connection point and energy storage facility and supply the same major consumers. The company plans to install 10-12 wind turbines in the area and wants the community to benefit from these as well.  In addition to the national wind turbine tolerating fee, Sunly’s value proposition to the community includes other benefits. For example, the locals will have the opportunity to purchase cheaper electricity if the wind farm materializes.