Solar future for public housing in Queensland
Published Friday, 10 March, 2017 at 01:59 PM
Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply
The Honourable Mark Bailey
A trial to deliver electricity savings for some of the community’s most vulnerable electricity customers will be rolled out in four Queensland locations.
Minister for Energy Mark Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government was trialling innovative ways to enable public housing tenants in detached government-owned houses to access the benefits of rooftop solar power.
“The trial will be undertaken in Woodridge, Rockhampton, Cairns and Lockhart River and collectively will deliver up to six megawatts of new solar PV on up to 4000 new solar rooftops across Queensland,” Mr Bailey said.
“Up to 2000 eligible public housing tenants managed through Logan City’s Woodridge Housing Service Centre will be able to enter into a solar power purchase agreement which allows them to receive cheaper power from solar.
“Under this arrangement, eligible tenants will purchase cheaper solar power from a solar PV system installed at the premises, as well as power from the electricity grid.”
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said the trial had been designed to provide a workable model that could allow solar power to be offered to Queenslanders renting in the private market.
“This is the first step toward fundamental change in the way we deliver renewable energy across Queensland,” Mr de Brenni said.
“Half a million properties in Queensland are rentals which has limited residential solar uptake up until now.
“As the state's largest landlord, this trial presents an opportunity for the Queensland government to work through issues and develop a workable model for the private rental sector.
“If this trial is successful, we will look at ways to expand the program and help open the floodgates to solar across the rental market. We want every Queenslander to enjoy cheaper electricity while helping to grow the state's renewable energy sector.
“Representatives from the Department of Housing and Public Works will contact public housing tenants who are eligible to participate in the trial.”
Member for Woodridge Cameron Dick said it was fantastic to see one of the locations for the trial being held in Logan City.
“The Palaszczuk Government has stabilised electricity prices after the massive 43 per cent hike in prices under the Newman-Nicholls government,” Mr Dick said.
“We also recently made changes that have enabled another 157,000 Queensland families with a Commonwealth Health Care Card, including more than 25,000 in the Logan area, to get $330 a year off their electricity bills.”
Member for Waterford Shannon Fentiman said Queensland already has one of the highest uptakes of rooftop solar panels in the world.
“We know the people of Logan who own their own homes love the benefits of solar. Now tenants who live in Logan can reap the rewards of solar power as well, with a cheaper electricity bill,” Ms Fentiman said.
Member for Logan Linus Power said it was another example of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to helping Queenslanders with electricity costs.
“This trial means residents in the Logan area, who wouldn’t normally have access to the benefit of solar, will be able to see savings on their power bill and better understand energy use in the home,” Mr Power said.
Mr Bailey said in addition to the solar power purchase arrangement in Logan City, a solar lease arrangement involving up to 2000 tenants in detached houses will be trialled in Rockhampton and Cairns.
“The final trial location is Lockhart River, about 800 kilometres north of Cairns, where up to 100 households will benefit from a rooftop solar farm on government buildings,” he said.
“The Lockhart River solar farm will provide a clean energy alternative for the diesel-powered remote indigenous community and will include some battery energy storage to help integrate the solar farm with the local diesel generators.
“Using solar will reduce diesel costs and some of those savings will be shared with the public housing tenants in the community to reduce their cost of living.
“This trial is an initiative of the Palaszczuk Government’s 2020 solar target of one million solar rooftops or 3000 megawatts of installed solar generation capacity.
“It’s also part of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to developing renewable energy across Queensland.
“We’re turning the Sunshine State into the Solar State.”
Further information can be found on the Department of Energy and Water Supply’s website at https://www.dews.qld.gov.au/electricity/solar/solar-future/public-housing.
Minister Bailey: Zoe Russell - 0428 079 640
Minister de Brenni: Tristan Douglas - 0439 562 943
Minister Dick: Michelle Wellington - 0437 323 834
Minister Fentiman Brook Baskin – 0400 774 303
Mr Power: 07 3445 2100