The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) has launched an initiative that will allow Victoria-based EnergyAustralia customers to share their excess energy with the stadium.

EnergyAustralia is the MCG’s electricity partner, and the stadium said its new pilot program with the company marks a first in Australia.

The initiative will result in EnergyAustralia customers powering areas of the MCG, from light towers to giant scoreboards.

Customers who participate in the scheme will be rewarded with a range of VIP experiences at the MCG, such as stadium tours and game-day packages.

Melbourne Cricket Club, which manages the MCG, will also work with EnergyAustralia and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to study the use of hybrid fuel cells in order to better manage the stadium’s electricity consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

MCC chief executive Stuart Fox said: “We have a strong belief in the importance of operating the MCG in an environmentally responsible manner. These sustainability initiatives will not only significantly improve the stadium’s carbon footprint, but will also ensure greater energy security at the MCG and lead the way with innovative energy solutions.

“With a number of structural restrictions currently limiting the stadium from installing solar panels, this energy sharing program provides a welcome alternative, and I certainly hope that passionate MCG fans will be keen to sign up to the trial to help power the ‘G.”

The MCG said its annual electricity demand is equivalent to that of around 4,000 average Australian homes.

Catherine Tanna, managing director at EnergyAustralia, said: “Our partnership will do more than just revolutionise energy at the people’s ground. There is great potential for applying what we learn and the technology we develop for the MCG to helping households and businesses across Victoria use energy more efficiently, so they save money and help protect the environment. It’s exciting working with the MCG to address some of the big energy challenges Australians are facing.”

EnergyAustralia solar customers that are interested in taking part in the initiative can find out more by emailing MCGsolarpower@mcc.org.au.

Image: PaddyBriggs