Free solar energy for The Orchards, a new Sydney community
Sekisui House Australia has partnered with utility company Flow Systems to install one of the largest high-rise rooftop solar panel systems in the world across a masterplanned residential community at its new Norwest development, The Orchards — a move that is expected to have the equivalent effect of planting around 15,000 trees per year.
When fully completed by 2024, The Orchards will comprise 1300 luxury apartments set over five stages. It is set to include a two-storey wellness centre with a gymnasium, outdoor lagoon-style pool, community cafe, extensive landscaping and lighting throughout the many orchard-tree-lined pathways that will intersect throughout the precinct, and even an outdoor cinema.
The network of power-conserving applications at The Orchards will give the entire community 1 GWh of free solar power every year for use in common areas, including the outdoor cinema and wellness centre — something not previously offered by any other Australian developer to date, according to the partners. A local energy utility known as The Orchards Energy will meanwhile be implemented, comprising state-of-the-art monitoring systems and a bundled energy offer that will allow residents to save up to 35% a year on their utility costs.
Sekisui House Marketing and Operations Manager Paul Wainwright said the developer is proud to offer future residents of its Norwest community some peace of mind in terms of their future energy costs. Flow Systems founder Terry Leckie added that The Orchards’ bundled energy solution will provide a result people expect from energy utilities.
“Customers want to see new products and services that use renewable energy generation like local solar and similar, more efficient technologies to pass on meaningful savings to them,” Leckie said.
Wainwright said future residents of The Orchards will now have an answer to the issue of increasing energy bills with a solution that will benefit not just owner-occupiers, but also investors and their tenants.
“In real terms, not only will the cost of living become markedly better for residents of The Orchards, but their property values will also benefit, with the obvious bonus of energy savings to this degree having a knock-on effect that results in lower community levies and strata costs,” he said.
Wainwright said the choice to partner with Flow Systems was an easy one. He noted, “In the Hills District, it is very difficult to overlook the range of amenity The Orchards has to offer and now, the level of ongoing energy savings that will ensure these lifestyle extras for residents are not reflected in strata costs.
“We are excited about what can be achieved for the exciting community that we are growing at Norwest — one that will offer even further convenience by way of the much-awaited Sydney North West Metro, currently under construction just 500 m from The Orchards.
“Sustainability is at the heart of all that Sekisui House creates.”
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