Mitcham council plans for cheaper power

solar panels on rooftops

Ratepayers in South Australia’s City of Mitcham could be enjoying solar power, with no upfront costs.

The city council is looking for a strategic partner to design and deliver a community solar program to provide access to cheaper power.

City of Mitcham Mayor, Dr Heather Holmes-Ross, said the council aims to increase the uptake of renewables in the community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to electricity consumption.

“While solar uptake has been quite successful in the City of Mitcham, with close to 40 per cent of properties with solar panels, we want to make solar accessible for all properties including both residential and business landlords as well as tenants,” Holmes-Ross said.

“Not only do we need a wider uptake of solar panels we also need to build a pathway for community energy storage and management by increasing battery storage capacity and reducing reliance on the grid.

“The community solar program will also be developed to support our local business community, providing opportunities for indigenous businesses, innovative start-ups and local small businesses.”

Andrew Nunn, Chief Entrepreneur for South Australia, said the City of Mitcham initiative was a great example of how councils and other organisations could break the mould to encourage widespread adoption of future technologies.

“By inviting collaboration with industry partners, the City of Mitcham is embarking on an innovative project to further accelerate the already strong rate in the uptake of renewable energy infrastructure in the region,” Nunn said.

“I look forward to seeing the outcome, which is sure to save households and businesses money in the long-run.”

In October 2019, the City of Mitcham joined a growing movement of cities around the world declaring a climate emergency. In October, 2020 the council endorsed five climate pledges and five community commitments under the Cities Power Partnerships.

“Council is continuing to undertake projects that build resilience in the local environment and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions such as energy efficiency upgrades to buildings, switching residential streetlights to LED, purchasing electric vehicles and installing of public charging stations,” Holmes-Ross said.

“With over 50 per cent of community emissions directly attributed to electricity consumption we believe there is an opportunity to have a direct impact on reducing these emissions through a broader uptake of solar panels and energy efficient technologies.”

Tenders for the community solar project close 8 October, 2021.

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