Property developer Mirvac is planning to incorporate solar energy into one of its new apartment blocks in Brisbane. The company anticipates this will enable residents of these solar energy apartments to save up to 70 per cent on their electricity bills.
The nine-storey building known as Ascot Green will have solar panels and batteries installed on its rooftop deck, which will connect directly to apartments within the building. Mirvac considered the sunny climate in Brisbane to be ideal for this initiative.
Ascot Green is located Northeast of Brisbane’s CBD, next to Ascot Station on the Pinkenba rail line, with easy access to the Airport, the Brisbane River and The Royal Queensland Golf Club.
Mirvac embraces innovation and sustainability
However, the project is more than just about cost savings on electricity. It also forms part of the company’s drive towards innovation and sustainability through its ‘Hatch’ program.
Mirvac’s goals through Hatch include creating the first smart portfolio by 2020, and being net positive in energy, water and waste by 2030. The company develops many of its innovative ideas from customer feedback and insights.
In 2016 the University of Technology Sydney voted Hatch ‘best practice innovation program’. BRW also awarded it best innovation program in 2015.
Project shows solar energy apartments can work too
Ascot Green is one example of how residential solar power doesn’t have to be restricted to house owners. Projects of this kind demonstrate how solar can also be within the reach of apartment owner-occupiers and renters.
Various other schemes are popping up across Australia to provide solar to apartments and units. Examples include solar installations in communal areas (such as in Ascot Green) and shared-solar ‘splitter’ schemes. In a splitter scheme, a solar provider funds the installation of solar panels Brisbane and charges residents for their energy usage.
Last year ARENA contributed $900,000 to a development project in Fremantle for research and development of a shared renewable energy model for 45 units.
In other cases, landlords install solar panels under split-incentive schemes. These are programs where a local council or community group typically offers interest-free loans to landlords to install solar. It’s expected that more landlords will be seeking out solar quotes as these split incentive schemes gain in popularity.
Mirvac’s apartments are already selling, with the first move-ins expected mid-2018. It will be interesting to see how the solar initiative works out and whether it leads to more developments of this kind across Australia.