The Western Australian town of Broome will become host to one of Australia’s largest shopping centre solar installations.
The 1.2MW commercial solar installation will be added to the Broome Boulevard Shopping Centre, owned by ASX-listed property investors Primewest, constructed over the centre’s car park, and is expected supply around 45 per cent of the centre’s electricity needs.
The company said the structure would provide shading for 330 car parking spots at the shopping centre, while also helping to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
“Broome Boulevard Shopping Centre will be our biggest project to date with a reduction of 2,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas a year with the 1.3MW solar PV system,” Primewest director Jim Litis said.
“It will provide additional power and greater protection against outages, thus relieving some load from the existing grid.”
The installation will be undertaken by Generators and Off-Grid Energy and H&M Tracey Construction Joint Venture, and will be paired with a 1 MWh battery system to satisfy the grid connection requirements imposed by Horizon power.
The battery installation will allow the project to meet Horizon Power’s Technical Connection Requirements, while also helping to support reliable supplies of power in Broome.
Primewest said that it had been in negotiations with Horizon Power for the last three years over the installation of the system, which will be connected to Broome’s dedicated electricity grid. Generators and Off-Grid Energy said that the project would generate dozens of local construction jobs.
“The project will provide 30 to 40 local jobs during construction with completion in 2021 – with local contractors being used exclusively where possible,” Generators and Off-Grid Energy managing director John Davidson said.
“Power generated from the 3600 solar panels installed will offset the shopping centre’s current power consumption from the grid helping the shopping centre to reduce its grid power requirement.”
Horizon Power recently announced that it would support households to install 10MW of new systems in regional Western Australian grids, like that of Broome, with the shopping centre solar project not impacting the ability of households to install solar.
Shopping centres have increasingly turned to solar power to help cut electricity costs, as well as cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Construction at a 1.5MW solar carpark was undertaken at the Willows Shopping Centre in Townsville, and a similar combined solar and battery storage system was recently confirmed for a major sub-regional shopping centre in Narellan, New South Wales.