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The SA Government is to boost renewable energy uptake in Adelaide by funding the installation of solar panels on 400 Housing Trust homes.

Deputy Premier John Rau said that Renewal SA, which supports urban development projects on behalf of the state government, will install 200 solar systems to homes in the CBD, and a further 200 to new homes being built in the suburbs.

The scheme – which is expected to launch “early- to mid-2016”, once a procurement tender has been launched – will form part of a pilot project, which, if successful, will be expanded across the state.

Mr Rau said: “One of the government’s major commitments is to make the City of Adelaide the world’s first carbon neutral city.”

“The installation of solar panels on up to 200 Housing Trust homes in the CBD will make a major contribution towards making Adelaide carbon neutral, and benefit tenants who will see savings in their annual electricity bills of at least $150.

“On top of this, Renewal SA expects to build 200 new Housing Trust homes with solar panels outside the city.

“If successful, we will look to expand this program on a range of new public housing.”

The project will be funded through the $65 million public housing package, announced in the State Budget.

It is hoped that the pilot will help create “more energy efficient, comfortable homes for public housing tenants” and provide a boost to SA solar panel suppliers and installers.

The news comes as Premier Jay Weatherill and Climate Change Minister Ian Hunter enter global climate change talks in Paris.

Speaking after the solar pilot announcement, Mr Hunter said: “South Australia is committed to ensuring a just transition to a low-carbon economy and looking after vulnerable members of the community who stand to be impacted most by rising temperatures; [this] announcement goes towards this.

“The message coming loud and clear ahead of the Paris Climate Conference is that businesses are already transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

“The message South Australia will take to the world is that we are open for low-carbon,fmast innovation business, and we are the place to come and perfect technologies that will help the world make this transition.”

Feedback wanted on Glenside development

The current Glenside area (image take from Glenside preliminary masterplan)

As well as working on the solar panel pilot, Renewal SA, in partnership with Cedar Woods Properties, has this week launched the preliminary masterplan for the Glenside development.

The urban infill project seeks to develop 16 hectares of vacant land surrounding the Glenside hospital into a “diverse, thriving community” featuring around 1000 new homes, including detached houses, apartments and townhouses. Approximately 15 per cent of the development will be affordable housing.

Following consultation with the public in February, which showed there was concern over the loss of green space and heritage buildings, a preliminary plan has been released outlining that the site will retain five hectares of land for open space and stormwater detention, and will see hundreds of new trees planted.

Further, all heritage buildings will be retained and the Elms building forecourt will become a “focal point”, providing a recreation area for the public to relax in and “enjoy the heritage buildings”.

Recreation, exercise and sporting amenities will also be incorporated, including new cycling and pedestrian paths.

Proposed Glenside development (image take from Glenside preliminary masterplan)

Mr Rau encouraged the community to view the masterplan and provide feedback through the public display, which is being held at the Burnside Community Centre until Saturday, or submit their thoughts online before 20 December.

He said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for housing close to the city and existing infrastructure.

“The future development of this site will take into account extensive community consultation.

“Providing feedback on the draft masterplan is one in a series of opportunities for the local community to be involved in planning the future of Glenside.

“Renewal SA and Cedar Woods will further shape the masterplan over the next few months based on the previous consultation and additional feedback from the community.”

The masterplan will form the basis of a Ministerial Development Plan Amendment, which will be open for consultation in April 2016, to make provision for the future development.

The development is due to commence in late 2016 and be delivered over an eight to 10-year period.

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