Sports fans can now trade home solar power for VIP tickets and other perks at Melbourne’s iconic MCG stadium.
Under a new pilot program, solar customers with EnergyAustralia can use excess solar to power the ‘G’s light towers and giant scoreboards.
In exchange, the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) – stadium manager of the MCG – will reward trial participants with exclusive VIP experiences.
These include exclusive seats with butler service, private kick-to-kick sessions on the sacred ground and tours of the National Sports Museum.
Home solar will lower stadium’s carbon footprint
The MCG’s annual energy demand is equivalent to that of 4,000 Victorian households. However, 1,500 fans sharing excess solar power for a year could power every AFL game for the entire 2018 season.
With limited space to install solar panels, the solar sharing scheme will also ensure greater energy security at the MCG.
MCC CEO Stuart Fox said structural issues prevented the stadium from installing its own solar power systems.
“This energy sharing program provides a welcome alternative,” he said. “I certainly hope that passionate MCG fans will be keen to sign up to the trial to help power the ‘G.”
CSIRO lending expertise to pilot solar power program
In addition to its solar sharing program, the MCC is working with experts from the CSIRO on using solar storage systems at the stadium.
They will also explore the use of hybrid fuel cells to help manage energy consumption and reduce greenhouse emissions.
The organisation is developing new energy technologies and bringing them to market, said CSIRO Energy Director Karl Rodrigues. He added that the pace of innovation is also unprecedented.
“CSIRO is pleased to support EnergyAustralia and the MCC to better understand these emerging technologies, particularly around the integration of energy storage.”
EnergyAustralia Managing Director Catherine Tanna said the partnership with MCC could lead to similar programs between customers and businesses. “Our partnership will do more than just revolutionise energy at the people’s ground,” she said.
EnergyAustralia solar customers can register to help power the ‘G by emailing MCGsolarpower@mcc.org.au