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Green Building & Sustainable Development

North Adelaide to host Australia's First "Solar City"

I am pleased to announce today that north Adelaide will host Australia's first 'Solar City' - helping to pave the way to a new energy future for all Australians. Today's announcement delivers on the election commitment made in South Australia - A More Sustainable Future.

The Adelaide Solar City consortium - Origin Energy, BP Solar, Big Switch Projects, City of Salisbury, Mawson Lakes Development and the ANZ Banking Group - will receive up to $15 million through the Australian Government's $75 million Solar Cities initiative to help change the way individuals, communities, businesses and governments think about and use energy. The consortium expects to leverage an additional $38 million from industry and other partners.

Solar Cities is a visionary new concept that brings together solar technologies, energy efficiency, smart metering and better electricity pricing to create more energy sustainable communities.

The Solar Cities concept has captured the national interest and the Adelaide Solar City consortium proposal has captured the Australian Government's interest. It is a creative proposal that will involve people in Adelaide and help promote the benefits of better energy choices to communities right across Australia.

The Adelaide Solar City proposal will install solar panels in more than 1700 homes in north Adelaide, roll out 7000 smart meters and help people save around $200 a year on their electricity bills by changing energy use and adapting energy efficiency measures. The solar panels will be made in Australia by BP Solar at their Homebush plant in Sydney and the SLIVER cell technology will come from Origin Energy's Adelaide plant. Consumers will be able to purchase these solar panels using special discounted loans.

The comprehensive package of measures will double the current capacity of solar photovoltaic panels in South Australia, provide energy savings of $5 million per year, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30,000 tonnes per year.

Adelaide is a natural choice for a Solar City trial given the demand on its electricity network driven largely by the growth of air-conditioning, and its abundant sunshine. Five iconic Adelaide buildings - Central Markets, Playford Aquadome, Bus Depot, SA Water Building, and the Sustainability Interpretive Centre - have been chosen to identify Adelaide as a Solar City by showcasing large solar cell displays.

Everyone in the community will be able to be involved, with special initiatives to help low-income and rental households participate and share the benefits their Solar City can offer. Solar Cities is part of the Australian Government's $2 billion climate change strategy that aims to develop clean, low emission technologies; build an effective global response to the issue; increase understanding of climate change science; and help communities adapt to the impacts of climate change.

I congratulate the South Australian community for embracing the Solar Cities concept. Six South Australian-based consortia out of a nationwide total of 23 expressed an interest in hosting a Solar City. Two innovative proposals made it to the final short-list for Adelaide and today the Adelaide Solar City consortium has been selected to host Australia's first Solar City Trial.

- From the Prime Minister of Australia.

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