Students of Sydney’s Stucco apartments have finally achieved their goal of a solar revolution, according to a report from ABC.
The social housing apartment block in Newton has become one of the first multi-dwelling buildings in Australia with a shared solar and battery storage system.
As of last week, 30 kilowatts of solar panels were installed on the roofs and 36 batteries were set up in the building, providing 42.3 kilowatts storage capacity.
The solar power system will provide 80% of the resident’s energy requirements, with the remainder of electricity coming in from the grid. Each student resident is expected to save up to $35 every month on their electricity bill.
According to Sarah King, Stucco committee president, social work student and resident, as poor university students, a smaller bill makes a very big difference. There’s also a great feeling of using clean energy.
Stucco is a cooperative, non-profit housing complex for low-income students from Sydney University. There are 40 students in the eight units who each pay about $90 rent every week. The students self-manage the property, which is partly owned by the university and the Department of Housing.
For the students paying for solar power, a software system was installed to analyse the energy output from each unit. This means that the Stucco committee acts as its own energy retailer and issues electricity bills to the student residents. For the power consumption that is provided by solar, the resident students are charged a maximum of $0.10 during off-peak hours and up to $0.40 during peak use. The committee is presently in talks with different commercial energy retailers about the power being drawn from the grid.
Featured Image Credit: Bradley Gordon