The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) has become the first major stadium in Australia to run on 100 per cent renewable power, the latest sustainability initiative from a five-year partnership between the MCG and EnergyAustralia. 

From lighting up the iconic light towers, to heating the pie warmers and opening the turnstiles, from 1 January 2022 all energy used by the MCG is from renewable sources. 

This means that two months into 2022, the MCG has already cut its greenhouse emissions by close to 1000 tonnes, the equivalent to taking 214 cars off the road for one year. 

An earlier effort, in 2018, saw EnergyAustralia make the MCG carbon neutral during the AFL finals month of September.

The partnership also installed 12 solar-powered lights and security cameras in 2019, lighting the way for those coming to the grounds through Yarra Park, to heighten safety. 

The following year 220 solar panels were installed along the roofline of the Northern Stand, powering the stadium’s innovative water recycling facility, which impressively turns sewerage into Class A water. 

During another initiative in August 2021 the energy retailer installed 14 solar compactor bins in Yarra Park, crushing rubbish down to a fifth of its normal size, and therefore requiring fewer garbage trucks to empty bins.  

Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) Chief Executive Officer, Stuart Fox, said this latest initiative is a huge moment in the sustainability journey of the MCG.  

“This is a really exciting initiative for the MCC and EnergyAustralia – to work together and provide a first for major stadiums in the country,” Mr Fox said.  

“We have a keen focus on environmental sustainability at the MCG – from our water recycling plant and organics dehydrator, to the solar panels installed on the roof a couple of years ago with EnergyAustralia.  

“To have all of the MCG’s energy needs provided by 100 per cent renewables is a great step on our sustainability journey. 

“At the MCG, we’re about inspiring excellence and leading by example, so we hope to see this initiative continued into other stadiums and venues across the country.” 

EnergyAustralia Chief Customer Officer, Mark Brownfield, said, “Since 2017 we’ve been helping the MCG become more sustainable. And now we’ve kicked the winning goal – getting the MCG running off 100 percent renewables in an Australian first.”

Mr Brownfield said that EnergyAustralia is focusing on the bigger picture as well, updating its Climate Change Statement with a clear commitment to have net zero emissions (scope one, two and three) by 2050, to be out of coal by 2040, and to reduce direct emissions by 60 percent by 2028/29 (relative to 2019-20).   

“As part of this, we have announced the early retirement of the Yallourn coal-fired power station in mid-2028 and are building Australia’s first net zero emissions gas and hydrogen capable power plant, pumped hydro energy storage, and large-scale battery storage projects. 

“We’re doing, not just dreaming, when it comes to making the clean energy transition a reality.” 

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