Mirvac hits go on solar and battery as “standard” in new townhouses

A CEFC-backed program offering solar and battery storage as standard features in new-build homes is set to get underway in Victoria, as part of major new housing development project by Mirvac and Victoria Investments and Properties.

The 6,500-lot fully integrated master planned community, called Woodlea, will begin offering a $20,000 solar and batteries system at no extra cost on a limited number of the Mirvac-designed townhouses starting early next year.

The solar and storage systems – which will include 5.1kW of PV, a 10kWh battery, 5kW inverter and smart controls – are expected to deliver an 80 per cent saving on the households’ annual electricity bills, or around $1,620 a year.

Some of the solar and storage equipped homes, says Mirvac, might never receive another power bill again.

The solar homes are the first to be rolled out under the Clean Energy Finance Corporation’s $90 million debt commitment to Mirvac to underwrite a shift to solar and storage as the “new normal” for new-build homes in Australia.

The scheme, announced in March 2018, would see solar and batteries included as part of Mirvac’s base build in three new masterplanned residential communities, including in Sydney and Brisbane.

In comments this week, CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said that the investment was also designed to help battery storage technology gain traction in Australia, where it has been slow to take off – even in those states where storage is heavily discounted under government rebate schemes.

“Increasingly families are exploring how technology can help bring down their energy costs,” Learmonth said in a statement published late last week.

“We’d like to see integrated solar and battery storage in all suitable Australian households so they can benefit from the energy savings that this technology can provide.

“We are pleased that Mirvac is including these technologies as standard inclusions in these new homes so that Australian families can have greater control over their energy consumption and their carbon footprint from the day they move in.”

In the case of Woodlea, in Melbourne’s west, the initial solar pilot will include a limited number of townhouses. But Mirvac says that if it proves successful, it will be extended to the majority of townhouses to be developed.

“Rising electricity costs is a concern for Victorians state-wide and although solar usage is on the rise, it’s not attainable for all households due to the hefty up front cost of installation,” said Woodlea project director Matthew Dean.

“We’re aiming to unlock these benefits for everyday Australians by essentially offering a $20,000 smart solar package as standard across our Mirvac townhouse offering.”

Woodlea will launch its first solar townhouse release in early 2020. For more information visit www.woodlea.com.au

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