An artist's impression of what Melbourne could look like with more solar, cool and green roofs.

Thousands of hectares of Melbourne’s roof space is ripe for solar, green roof and cool roof installations, a City of Melbourne mapping project has revealed.

The Rooftop Project involved analysis of aerial photography to understand which roof spaces would be ideal for green roofs, cool roofs and solar PV installations. It found in the local government area there was the potential for:

  • 637 hectares of solar panels
  • 259 hectares of cool roofs
  • 236 hectares of intensive (heavy) green roofs
  • 328 hectares of extensive (lightweight) green roofs

“There is so much potential right above us,” Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said. “Rooftops in central Melbourne make up 880 hectares of space, which is more than five times the size of Melbourne’s largest park.”

Green roofs were best suited to built up areas like the CBD, Port Melbourne and Docklands, the mapping showed, while there was “enormous potential” for sizeable solar systems to be put on large commercial and industrial buildings outside the CBD.

City of Melbourne environment portfolio chair Arron Wood said residents and business should look at the maps and consider whether solar, green or cool roofs were an attractive proposition.

“Our research shows that solar panels could be installed on 637 hectares of rooftops – that’s three times the size of the Hoddle Grid. These households and businesses could be making use of the sunlight that falls on their roofs by installing solar,” Mr Wood said.

He said rooftop solar was key to reaching the city’s 25 per cent renewables target by 2018.

The City of Melbourne is also looking for partners to help create of the city’s first publicly accessible green roof. City property owners with suitable roofs are encouraged to get in contact.

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