The Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) with the help of EnergyAustralia has launched a pilot for Australian-first energy-sharing initiative. In exchange for a range of VIP experiences offered by the iconic sports stadium, the MCC is asking Victorian solar customers to give their excess rooftop solar electricity generation to power light towers, scoreboard screens and more within the stadium’s walls.
Given the immense need of MCG’s annual energy output, which is the equivalent to powering 4,000 homes per year in Australia, MCC is offering various “VIP” experiences to participants.
Opportunities include kick-to-kick sessions on the turf, stadium tours and chance to take in a match from the premium Jolimont Club.
“With a number of structural restrictions currently limiting the stadium from installing solar panels, this energy sharing program provides a welcome alternative, and I certainly hope that passionate MCG fans will be keen to sign up to the trial to help power the ‘G,’” MCC CEO Stuart Fox said in a statement.
As per the program, if 1500 EnergyAustralia customers share their excess solar energy for a year, it would be enough to power every AFL match at the MCG for the 2018 season.
The opt-in system for Victorian customers is like nothing seen before in Australian sport. Solar customers currently have access to a tariff where they are paid a small credit for any unused electricity that their solar system sends back into the grid.
“Our partnership will do more than just revolutionize energy at the people’s ground,” Catherine Tanna, EnergyAustralia’s managing director, said in a statement. “There is great potential for applying what we learn and the technology we develop for the MCG to helping households and businesses across Victoria use energy more efficiently, so they save money and help protect the environment. It’s exciting working with the MCG to address some of the big energy challenges Australians are facing.”
The MCG, meanwhile, is also working with EnergyAustralia to explore the use of hybrid fuel cells to better manage its electricity consumption and reduce its emissions. They hope the program will provide greater alternatives for all Victorians to use their energy.