The Alkimos Beach development north of Perth has been announced as the first 6 Star Green Star – Communities rated project at the Green Cities conference being held in Melbourne today (Tuesday) and Wednesday. The news came as the Australian Renewable Energy Agency announced $3.3 million in funding for Synergy to trial a combination of rooftop solar photovoltaic with battery storage at the development.
Announcing the achievement, Green Building Council of Australia chief executive Romilly Madew told the audience that 6 Star communities were not aspirational, but achievable.
“This 6 Star Green Star rating for a community project sets the bar for world leadership community development and demonstrates a long-term commitment to sustainability at scale,” she said.
The Alkimos project is being developed by LendLease and LandCorp, with the first stage providing more than 2000 homes for 6000 residents.
The 710 hectare site is set to feature six hectares of conservation reserves and 41 hectares of dune and foreshore reserves, with all homes within 800 metres of the local centre and transport links, with 30 per cent of the site open space, and parkland within 200 metres of all homes. Walking and cycle paths will link the beach, the town centre and the train station.
LandCorp chief executive Frank Marra said the land development agency’s focus was on growing Perth and WA in a planned, sustainable way.
“We encourage innovation and are delighted that our Alkimos Beach project has been recognised by the nation’s authority on sustainable buildings and communities and acknowledged as a world leading development with global significance,” he said.
Just after the announcement, ARENA announced a trial of solar PV and battery storage at Alkimos, with $3.3 million funding for government-owned electricity and gas agency Synergy.
“The trial will involve combining 1.1MWh of centralised lithium ion battery storage with more than 100 rooftop solar PV systems,” ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht said.
“Cost effective energy storage will become increasingly important in the quest to include more renewables in our electricity grids.
“Synergy will deliver the project in partnership with Alkimos Beach development partners Lend Lease and Landcorp, two major players in property construction, planning and infrastructure.
“Working with these companies presents an opportunity to increase the use of solar PV in Australia, particularly if they adopt similar models at other residential developments.”
Other sustainability innovations at Alkimos Beach include:
- Mandatory solar panels and gas boosted solar hot water systems as well as other energy-efficient appliances, supported by a financial incentive package from the Alkimos Beach development partners that range from $4500 to $6000, which are expected to reduce home energy bills by up to 50 per cent
- Smart water initiatives are planned throughout the site including stormwater retention, bore water irrigation and water efficient appliances in each home
- Fibre-to-the-Premises internet connectivity is being provided throughout the development to encourage working from home