Victorians will have an opportunity to help make Australia’s favourite patch of turf a little bit greener, via an Australian-first energy-sharing initiative.
Under a new pilot program, solar customers with the Melbourne Cricket Ground’s electricity partner EnergyAustralia will be able to share the benefit of their excess solar electricity with the iconic stadium to help power everything from the iconic light towers to the giant scoreboard screens.
In return, the Melbourne Cricket Club - stadium manager of the MCG - will reward trial participants with a range of exclusive ‘VIP’ MCG experiences, including a kick-to-kick session on the hallowed turf, tours of the stadium and National Sports Museum, as well as opportunities to win unique game-day packages such as watching the footy from an exclusive platform with butler service or in the premium Jolimont Club.
In addition to the energy sharing initiative, the MCC is working with EnergyAustralia and the CSIRO to explore the use of hybrid fuel cells to better manage the stadium’s electricity consumption and reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions.
“The MCC has a strong belief in the importance of operating the MCG in an environmentally responsible manner,” said MCC CEO Stuart Fox. “These sustainability initiatives will not only significantly improve the stadium’s carbon footprint, but will also ensure greater energy security at the MCG and lead the way with innovative energy solutions.
“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.”
The MCG has annual electricity demand equivalent to that needed to power around 4,000 average Australian homes for a year. The stadium’s sheer scale means there are many opportunities to apply new approaches and innovative technology so the people’s ground can keep the lights on and be more sustainable.
EnergyAustralia Managing Director Catherine Tanna said the partnership with the MCC was also about finding better, smarter ways for all Victorians to use energy.
“Our partnership will do more than just revolutionise energy at the people’s ground. There’s 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,” Catherine said.
CSIRO Energy Director Karl Rodrigues said CSIRO was seeing new energy technologies develop and come to market at an unprecedented pace.
“CSIRO is pleased to support EnergyAustralia and the MCC to better understand these emerging technologies, particularly around the integration of energy storage,” Karl said.
EnergyAustralia solar customers can register their interest in the trial and find out more about helping power the ‘G by emailing MCGsolarpower@mcc.org.au.