The ACT is striving to make good on its commitment to turning Canberra into Australia’s first major city to be fully powered by renewable energy with the launch of a new suburb where solar power installations are mandatory for all residences.
The new mandate sees the introduction of minimum renewable energy requirements for a new community in the ACT that could satisfy as much as half of household electricity needs.
The developers of Denman Prospect, a suburb currently under development in the Molonglo Valley district of Canberra, have made it mandatory for all homes in the community to install a three kilowatt solar power system that is capable of generating approximately 4,146 kilowatt hours of energy each year.
This amount of energy is roughly equivalent to half that employed by the average household in Australia and, according to the suburb's developers, each system translates into the removal of a vehicle from the country's roads. The mandating of solar installations in Denman Prospect is expected to reduce the carbon footprint of the whole suburb by as much as a third.
According to Stephen Byron, managing director of Capital Estate Developments, 350 solar systems have already been bought in bulk for the suburb at reduced prices in order to make it more affordable for early bird residents to meet the community's renewable energy requirements.
The solar power installations sourced by Capital Estate for the new suburb represent a major advance upon other systems in the country in terms of convenience and ease of operation, enabling homeowners to monitor the amount of energy generated via a Wi-Fi app.
The new suburb of Denman Prospect is situated adjacent to the Molonglo River and the National Arboretum, within close proximity of the Canberra CBD.
Denman Prospect is slated to eventually host approximately 4,000 residences upon completion, with the first lots of land sold at auction on October 17. Capital Estate Developments is responsible for Stage 1 of the new suburb, with Stages 2 and 3 currently under development by the Land Development Agency.
The establishment of Australia's first solar-mandatory suburb in the nation's capital follows the unveiling of a commitment by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr for Canberra to become the first major city in Australia to be fully powered using renewable energy by 2025.
While the ACT's new suburb is reportedly the first in the country where solar power is mandatory requirement for all domiciles, other communities throughout the country have launched ambitious plans for the widespread deployment and usage of renewable energy installations.
These include Newstead on the Loddon River in Victoria, where the Renewable Newstead program envisages transforming the community into Australia's first ever "solar town," and the South Australian outback town of Coober Pedy, which has launched a plan to meet as much as 70 per cent of its electricity requirements using renewable energy.