Clean battery power on tap at student residence

A Newtown housing cooperative will be the first in Australia to use a solar and battery storage system to produce energy for a multi-unit residence housing dozens of students.

The project has been funded by a City of Sydney environmental grant that will help provide the solar photovoltaic systems for the Stucco affordable student housing complex on Wilson Street in Newtown.

“We want Sydneysiders to be involved in shaping our city’s future. Offering grants like this allows us to work with enthusiastic members of our community to speed up cuts to carbon pollution,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“Investing in innovative projects that use solar power and battery storage will help these technologies become more mainstream.”

Stucco is a self-managed and owned housing cooperative for University of Sydney students and is the first of its kind to offer affordable accommodation to students under financial pressure while promoting a community style of living.

“At Stucco, we value action on climate change and strive to live sustainably,” Stucco resident, Louis van Rensburg said.

“Including battery storage allows us to store power and use it when we want for lighting, computers and other domestic electrical equipment. It’s a great way to manage a flow of clean energy that will cover over two thirds of our electricity use.”

“This is a ground breaking project that allows us to use our resources and enthusiasm to creatively solve the issues surrounding sustainable energy in the multi-residential sector.”

WWF Australia has also been offered City grant funding to develop a guide for local businesses demonstrating how to get involved in group renewable energy purchases.

Business and Industry Engagement Manager – Climate Change, Monica Richter said WWF had a formed a renewable energy buyer’s forum for City businesses with an interest in renewable energy, but unable to install on their own site.

“The forum is the first of its kind in Australia to help create new business models for companies and other large energy users to increase their renewable energy purchasing,” Ms Richter said.

“There are many good reasons for companies to move towards a clean energy future. These include having better control over electricity consumption, particularly as electricity costs are likely to rise in the future. It’s also about being part of a movement towards a 100 per cent renewable energy future.”

All applications are assessed against strict criteria to ensure the projects are financially secure and meet the  City’s objectives.

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For media inquiries or images or videos, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Claire Thompson on 0408 414 376 or email

 For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Matt Levinson on 0499 319 385 or email