Solar panels will be installed on up to 400 Housing Trust homes in Adelaide and the metropolitan area under a new state government initiative.
Installation of grid connected solar power systems will occur on 200 new homes under construction in the suburbs and another 200 in the CBD.
The pilot is a Renewal SA project and if successful, the program may be expanded. Funds for the pilot will be sourced from the $65 million public housing package announced in the State Budget.
“Installing solar panels is just one of the ways we are making the most of technological advances in sustainability, along with construction methods and building materials to create more energy efficient, comfortable homes for public housing tenants,” said Deputy Premier John Rau (PDF).
“The program will also provide a valuable boost to South Australian solar panel suppliers and installers.”
On Sunday, Premier Jay Weatherill and Lord Mayor of the City of Adelaide Martin Haese signed an agreement that aims to make Adelaide the world’s first carbon neutral city – and this program will make a significant contribution towards that goal.
City of Adelaide is estimated to generate more than a million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year; however it has made significant headway by reducing carbon emissions 20 per cent since 2007.
Last week, the South Australian government also committed to the state to adopting a target of zero net emissions by 2050.
South Australia enjoys significant solar resources – according to Energy Matters; a good quality 5.3kW solar power system installed in Adelaide can provide a financial benefit of between $1,340 and $2,070 a year, depending on installation scenario and self-consumption levels. This sort of electricity bill savings range is a particularly significant amount to housing trust tenants who are often on lower than average incomes.
According to the latest data from Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator, more than 190,000 small-scale solar arrays are now installed across South Australia, and with the next generation of home battery systems on the horizon, households will be able to make even better use of their solar panels.
South Australia is also a stronghold for wind power, with 41% of the nation’s installed capacity. The state currently sources more than 36% of its electricity from renewables and has set a target of 50% by 2025; a goal it should have no problem in reaching.