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August 09 Edition Cover

OC breaks solar energy record

05 Feb 2015

OC breaks solar energy record Image

An owner’s corporation (OC) at Yarra’s Edge has set a renewable energy record by installing the largest solar system ever retrofitted to a Melbourne apartment block.

The (OC) at Yarra’s Edge towers two and three has installed a 47.5 kilowatt solar system, with 190 solar panels.

The system will save 92.568 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, which is enough to fill 21 Olympic swimming pools.

OC member Peter Taylor said the system cost around $67,000, but one of the benefits of living in an apartment building was that the costs were shared, equating to around $230 for each of the 290 owners.

“The final price was very affordable when we acted together and it’s an investment in the future value of the whole block,” Mr Taylor said.

“A lot of people think you can’t install solar in a high-rise, but we’ve proved that you can and the savings are real.”

The OC took advantage of a $3000 rebate from the City of Melbourne and support from the national Smart Blocks program.

A limited number of rebated up to $3000 are still available for apartment buildings in the municipality to install solar electricity systems to power common areas.

Councillor Arron Wood said the initiative benefited the environment and the OC.

“This huge 47.5 kilowatt solar system is the largest every retrofitted to a Melbourne apartment block, with 190 solar panels converting sunlight into electricity,” Cr Wood said.

“It’s not just the environment that is the winner here, it’s the 290 owners who will pay less to power the lighting and ventilation systems in their common areas.”

Cr Wood said the Smart Blocks program supported City of Melbourne’s goal to become a carbon neutral municipality by 2020. High-rise apartment dwellers consume more than 25 per cent more energy than people living in a detached dwelling.

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