This award recognises outstanding community leadership and commitment from NSW not-for-profit organisations whose sustainable initiatives are locally relevant and have widespread benefits for communities.
Community Leadership Award
People and projects that benefit the New South Wales community now and into the future.
2017 Green Globe Award winner
Stucco: Stucco solar + storage community project
What started as a housing cooperative for low-income students at Sydney University has produced the first successful installation of a solar-plus-storage renewable power system in an Australian apartment block.
Planning the new solar system was a community effort led by students, with various NGOs, pro-bono lawyers, academics and technical experts offering assistance.
‘There were lots of hurdles,’ says community coordinator Sarah King, ‘including technical issues around wiring and power flows across many meters, fire-proofing the batteries, plus some major regulatory challenges.
‘We needed permission from the national energy regulator to convert the building into an embedded network with a single grid connection but with metering and billing managed internally.’
The system now supplies more than three-quarters of the building’s electricity, saving the 40 residents an average of 20% on their bills. The surplus gives the cooperative an additional income stream to continue providing low-income housing.
Stucco provides a great precedent for other renters and apartment dwellers who are often locked out of access to cheap solar electricity.