The City of Sydney is funding the installation of a solar array and battery storage system in an 8 unit residential student housing co-operative in the suburb of Newtown, in what the council says is the first installation of its type in Australia.
The environmental grant will help provide the solar and storage in the Stucco affordable student housing complex on Wilson Street in Newtown, a short distance from the University of Sydney.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said that investing in innovative projects that use solar power and battery storage will help these technologies become more mainstream.
“We want Sydneysiders to be involved in shaping our city’s future. Offering grants like this allows us to work with enthusiastic members of our community to speed up cuts to carbon pollution,”
The City of Sydney says the solar and storage will cover most of the complex’s electricity needs.
“Including battery storage allows us to store power and use it when we want for lighting, computers and other domestic electrical equipment. It’s a great way to manage a flow of clean energy that will cover over two thirds of our electricity use,” a council release quoted student resident Louis van Rensburg as saying.
“This is a ground breaking project that allows us to use our resources and enthusiasm to creatively solve the issues surrounding sustainable energy in the multi-residential sector.”
van Rensburg told One Step Off The Grid that between 20-30kW of solar is to be put on the roof of the complex, with a battery capacity of somewhere between 50-60kWH the most probable option.
“(Fellow student) Bjorn Sturmberg and I really value the sustainable transition to renewable energy, so we started looking into getting some funding to put some PV on the roof, we weren’t aware that what we’re trying to do hasn’t been done before in Australia,” van Rensburg said.
In another development, the City of Sydney is providing grant funding to WWF Australia to develop a guide for local businesses demonstrating how to get involved in group renewable energy purchases
WWF’s Monica Richter said WWF had a formed a renewable energy buyer’s forum for City businesses with an interest in renewable energy, but unable to install on their own site.
“There are many good reasons for companies to move towards a clean energy future. These include having better control over electricity consumption, particularly as electricity costs are likely to rise in the future. It’s also about being part of a movement towards a 100 per cent renewable energy future.”