Green living spreads in the Townsville Solar City

Visiting Magnetic Island for the launch of the Smart Lifestyle Centre, Environment Minister Peter Garrett said the Magnetic Island Solar Suburb formed a key part of the Townsville Solar City initiative, with the installation of 2,500 smart meters, 1,700 household energy audits along with some 500 solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to be fitted on residential rooftops.

“Magnetic Island residents are already coming on board with 31 PV solar systems and 54 smart meters already installed and a massive 35,785 watts from old light bulbs replaced with energy efficient ones,” he said. “This community is so eager to embrace green living that over 100 homes have already participated in energy audits.”

He said the Smart Lifestyle Centre would be a one-stop shop to showcase PV systems, energy-efficient lighting and smart metering technologies.

“As well as saving energy, money and reducing carbon pollution, one of the real advantages of the Townsville Solar City is that work to install additional electricity infrastructure through this magnificent, World Heritage, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park can be postponed," he said.

The Townsville Solar City is one of seven Solar Cities being developed across Australia, along with the projects in Adelaide, Alice Springs, Blacktown, Central Victoria, Coburg and Perth.

The Townsville project covers areas including Magnetic Island, Rocky Springs, Riverway and the CBD.

“Together, these elements will deliver carbon pollution reductions of more than 50,000 tonnes over the life of the project – equivalent to taking 1,700 cars off the road, while increasing public awareness in sustainable energy use,” Mr Garrett said.

“Combined, the seven cities are expected to reduce carbon pollution by more than 76,000 tonnes each year, with over 3,200 solar PV panels expected to be installed on private and public housing and other buildings.”

The Australian Government has allocated $94 million for the Solar Cities program.

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