A highly sustainable apartment project in White Gum Valley, Western Australia, is the first residential development in the country where residents can trade renewable energy, with the innovative green project paving the way for a future norm of residents generating and sharing renewable energy independent of power companies.
Yolk Property Group has partnered with Power Ledger to implement world-leading blockchain technology at their Evermore development – powered by solar photovoltaics and lithium battery technology – allowing residents of the 24 apartments to buy and sell solar power amongst themselves.
Yolk Property Group Director Tao Bourton said the company had achieved a plethora of firsts with Evermore as a result of trialling and implementing new technology, supporting their aim of creating a world-leading sustainable development.
“Evermore was the first apartment development for sale in Australia to utilise solar and battery technology in a strata-setting and now residents of Evermore will be the first in Australia to take advantage of peer to peer renewable energy trading and all of the associated benefits,” Mr Bourton said.
“Power Ledger’s block chain technology, paired with the other power-saving initiatives at Evermore, gives residents exceptional control over their power usage and power costs, with residents only paying for the energy they need and on-selling excess energy to neighbours, always taking advantage of discounted rates,” he said.
It has been forecast the 53.6kW solar system with 150kW of battery storage at Evermore will produce approximately 80 per cent of the apartments’ power, with residents expected to benefit from a 30 per cent saving on their electricity bills and with so much power off the grid, residents also take advantage of being less affected by fluctuations in energy prices. Power Ledger’s blockchain technology will provide the transactive layer for discounted power to then be freely sold between residents, with those using less power able to sell to neighbours requiring more power. Real-time measurement and recording of water and power consumption will further give residents greater control over their energy usage and ensure maximum energy-efficiency.
Power Ledger Co-Founder and Managing Director David Martin said the company were delighted to be working with Yolk Property Group on a project that was setting a new standard in sustainable development.
“Through developments like Evermore we are completely changing the way we use energy, delivering a modern, decentralized and low-cost carbon structure that residents can take advantage of,” Mr Martin said.
“By using Power Ledger’s energy trading platform, projects like this are paving the way forward for broader consumer access to cheaper energy, as we transition into a new consumer-driven energy demand paradigm,” he said.
Evermore is helping shape the future of sustainable residential development with research from Evermore enabling the development of a governance framework and micro-grid system for solar PV and batteries in strata residential developments, a first for Australia. Yolk Property Group has also created a new structure within strata bylaws, now used by the State Government, to be used as a template for future development. Data collected from Evermore will also assist in guiding power authorities’ in future headworks charges, legislation and future infrastructure requirements.
Mr Bourton said Evermore set the bar high with innovative and highly sustainable apartments and demand for this kind of product was strong, as evidenced by the interest in the project.
“Buyers are getting more discerning – looking for developments that offer more in terms of sustainability, a reduced carbon footprint, genuine cost savings and modern technology. Through this project, we’ve shown that sustainability and affordability can go hand in hand, delivering an apartment where it is easy, attractive and affordable to lead a sustainable lifestyle,” Mr Bourton said.
Evermore is the first apartment development in Western Australia to be recognised by Bioregional Australia as a One Planet Community. It is only the fifth One Planet Community in Australia, joining the ranks of organisations, schools, governing bodies and communities recognised under the One Planet Living framework globally.
In addition to the pioneering solar PV battery technology and the associated governance system, other initiatives at the development include: real-time measurement and recording of water and power consumption to ensure maximum energy-efficiency; a clever dual building design to deliver north-facing living spaces and balconies across all apartments, with passive design principles; site-wide bore; electric vehicle charging point; communal bicycles and bicycle repair station; three-bin (general waste, recycling and compost bin) system to divert an expected 60 percent of waste from landfill; communal compost tumblers and communal vegetable garden.
Evermore comprises 24 highly sustainable apartments powered by cutting-edge solar photovoltaics and lithium battery technology, with the project playing a role in a pilot program at WGV estate, led by Curtin University, examining usage
of solar photovoltaics and battery in strata residential developments, in partnership with LandCorp, Solar Balance, Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Low Carbon Living Cooperative Research Centre and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Centre (CSIRO). ARENA provided a $280,000 grant to aid Yolk Property Group deliver the project.