Canberra’s “largest known” commercial rooftop solar installation was completed this week, with the switching on of a 100kW system on a building in Barton, in the heart of Canberra’s Parliamentary Triangle.
The rooftop PV system, installed on the Macquarie St building known as Maddocks House, will supply up to 40 per cent of its energy needs during the week, and export electricity to the grid during times of surplus generation.
ACT environment minister Simon Corbell said the 100kW commercial solar array added to the Capital Territory’s renewable energy credentials and would further reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
“The installation highlights not only the environmental and sustainability benefits, but also the already significant and growing financial benefits to the commercial sector of adopting renewable energy sources generally and rooftop solar PV in particular,” Corbell said in a statement on Thursday.
Commercial-scale solar – while taking off in the US and Europe – has been slow to gain momentum in Australia, not least of all due to ongoing policy uncertainty.
But this could be starting to change. In NSW, a spike in commercial installations helped the state beat out Queensland in February for added solar capacity on a monthly basis.
According to two different analyses, NSW became the biggest monthly market in February – a position almost entirely due to businesses installing rooftop solar on their premises.
Commercial scale solar – between 10kW and 100kW systems – now accounts for one third of total capacity in NSW, and more than 23 per cent of all small-scale solar installations in Australia in January and February.