Solar PV sparkles on Magnetic Island

Queensland's Magnetic Island has taken its first step in becoming one of Australia's "solar suburbs" under the federal government's Solar Cities initiative.

Queensland's Magnetic Island has taken its first step in becoming one of Australia's "solar suburbs" under the federal government's Solar Cities initiative.


The home of local resident Lindy King is the first of 500 houses on the island to receive "smart meters" and solar panels installed on rooftops, along with energy-efficient appliances and measuring devices, all part of a trial aimed at reducing greenhouse gases and preventing climate change.

"We have all got to do our bit for the Earth by conserving energy and I couldn't normally afford solar panels so I am very glad I was chosen to help the environment, reduce greenhouse gases and put back power into the grid," Ms King said.

Her home is one of over 500 homes and businesses who registered for a free energy assessment and the opportunity to host solar PV systems on their roof. A further 1500 residents will receive smart meters that measure electricity consumption and encourage energy conservation.

Project leader Ergon Energy is providing the solar photovoltaic (PV) systems free of charge, as part of an assessment of the solar suburb trial.

Queensland Minister for Mines and Energy, Geoff Wilson, said Lindy King's home was to be, "The first in a major roll out of solar systems that will transform Magnetic Island into a solar suburb."

Switching 500 Magnetic homes to solar energy is estimated to save over 50,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in the next seven years.

"That's equivalent to taking 1700 cars off the road for the same period," Mr Wilson said.

"These days, we're all conscious of the importance of caring for our environment and the use of renewable energy such as solar power, is a responsible and efficient way to go about it."

The Townsville: Queensland Solar City consortium will receive a combined total of up to $30 million in funding from both the state and federal governments to begin installation of the solar arrays.

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