A world first housing estate called East Village at Knutsford in Fremantle, will source all of its power from solar panels and a 670kw/h residential battery – the largest of its kind in Western Australia.
The battery has already been built and will also help power the construction of the site itself. Once the estate is complete it will use green energy around the clock.
The combination of rooftop solar and microgrid technology is expected to save residents thousands of dollars a year in energy bills.
The microgrid supply network will also manage water as well as power. Moreover, the development features blockchain-ready solar townhouses with built-in electric vehicle chargers.
The project is a partnership between LandCorp, Power Ledger and the Australian Government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.
“Solar panels only generate when the sun’s shining but using the battery and our platform they will be able to access 24 hour renewable power,” according to Power Ledger co-founder and chair Jemma Green said.
Power Ledger provided the 670kWh communal solar battery which will store left over energy and allow home owners to buy and sell power with one another via new technology known as block-chain.
“Power Ledger’s platform allows residents to sell excess solar power from the panels on their roofs directly to their neighbours at a better price, rather than selling back to the traditional grid,” she said.
Block-chain is a digital ledger that can track water and energy usage and facilitates transactions for peer trading, bypassing electricity providers.
The WA East Village estate will be tracked and assessed by an onsite living laboratory in partnership with Curtin University. Researchers will monitor the estate’s renewable energy and sustainability measures with a view towards One Planet Living accreditation.
Water-saving measures include storm water harvesting, a strata-owned bore and the use of rainwater for residential toilets. Tanks will supply hot water systems and laundries, reducing mains water consumption by 80 per cent.
State-owned developer LandCorp said its 1.5ha East Village site is leading the way in sustainable WA housing.
Located on a former industrial estate near the Royal Fremantle Golf Club, the development of 36 townhouses is just 2.5km east of Fremantle.
As well as gardens and community green spaces, the development features a prototype house by Perth company Mirreco demonstrating the capabilities of alternative materials such as compressed hemp and polymers in building panels.