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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Perth Solar City's time to shine

Media release
5 November 2009

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One of Australia’s largest Solar Cities was launched today in Perth, with over 106,000 local homes to benefit from its innovative energy trials.

The $73.5 million project received almost $14 million from the Australian Government’s $94 million Solar Cities program. Perth Solar City is run by a consortium led by Western Power with industry and local government, and involves six councils in Perth’s Eastern region.

Environment Minister Peter Garrett this afternoon joined Western Power and other guests at the Midland workshops to celebrate the beginning of the exciting four-year initiative.

“Spread across the country, our Solar Cities in Perth, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Central Victoria, Moreland, Blacktown and Townsville will help transform the way we produce, use and save energy,” Mr Garrett said.

“Announced last year, Perth is now ready to kick-start projects including smart technology trials, photovoltaic installations and home energy assessments for thousands of people.

“The program will offer over 300,000 residents discounted photovoltaic and solar hot water systems, free home energy audits and in-home energy efficiency advice.

“Large and small-scale photovoltaic systems are in the pipeline, with a 296 kilowatt system for the Perth Zoo, a 111 kilowatt system for the Perth Arena roof and a 60 kilowatt system for the Midland Atelier, where today’s launch was held.

“A smart technology trial will provide 8,700 smart meters and 2,200 in-home displays for selected areas in the Bassendean, Darlington, Forrestfield Midland districts to help people have greater visibility on how they use and manage their electricity consumption.

“This information will feed into government programs including the $100 million Smart Grid, Smart City project, which will see government, energy and communications sectors working in partnership to rollout an integrated commercial-scale smart grid.

“The Perth team will also be raising community awareness thanks to an environmental education centre at Kings Park, household information packs and school competitions.”

Mr Garrett said data collected by the Perth Solar City – through Western Power – would help the government develop future renewable energy policies for all Australians.

“These trials are important as we build the clean energy jobs and industries we need for a low-carbon future,” he said.

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