The MCG looks to home solar power to light up

The iconic MCG Stadium in Melbourne recently launched a program that will allow sports fans to trade their rooftop generated solar energy for VIP tickets and other perks.

The new pilot program will see EnergyAustralia solar customers export their excess solar to power MCG’s giant scoreboards and light towers.

Trial participants will be treated to an exclusive VIP experience with the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC), which currently manages the MCG stadium.

Rewards to participants will include private kick-to-kick sessions on the ground, exclusive butler service seats, and tours of the National Sports Museum.

More and more Australian sporting clubs are moving to reduce their carbon footprint with renewable energy – in 2015 Richmond Tigers installed a 99.7kW system at Punt Road Oval.

Home solar to reduce carbon footprint of MCG

The annual energy demand for MCG is equivalent to that of 4,000 Victorian homes. However, if each of the 1,500 fans gets to share their excess solar power for just a year, all the AFL games will be powered throughout the 2018 season.

Given the lack of adequate space to install solar panels, the solar sharing scheme is timely and convenient and poised to guarantee greater energy security at the stadium.

Stuart Fox, CEO of MCC recently stated that structural issues were a great impediment in the stadium’s quest to install its own solar power systems.

“This energy sharing program provides a welcome alternative,” he said. “I certainly hope that passionate MCG fans will be keen to sign up to the trial to help power the ‘G.”

CSIRO Energy to lend expertise in piloting the solar program

Besides the solar sharing program, the MCC will work closely with experts from the CSIRO on installing solar storage systems at the stadium. The partnership will also explore the possibility of using hybrid fuel cells to manage energy usage and reduce greenhouse emissions.

CSIRO Energy Director Karl Rodrigues said the organisation is designing more innovative energy technologies to be rolled out to the market. He also noted that the pace of innovation is unprecedented.

“CSIRO is pleased to support EnergyAustralia and the MCC to better understand these emerging technologies, particularly around the integration of energy storage.”

Catherine Tanna the Managing Director of EnergyAustralia said the company’s partnership with MCC would see more of these programs between customers and businesses. “Our partnership will do more than just revolutionise energy at the people’s ground,” she stated.

The Author

I took an interest in the Australian energy sector close to ten years ago and since then have monitored the trends, technologies and direction of the Australian Energy Market. I was drawn to the Australian solar market in 2008 and since then have worked heavily in the field. I am partnered with national and international solar energy companies, from manufacturers of solar panel and inverter technology, online software developers that introduce tools to quote, monitor and manage solar power systems and media organisations who like myself, closely monitor the solar and renewable energy sector.