ClearVue solar glass notches first commercial setting – a shopping centre atrium

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Perth-based building-integrated PV company completes first commercial demonstration – a solar glass atrium at a suburban Perth shopping centre.

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Perth-based building-integrated solar PV company ClearVue Technologies has notched up another key milestone, with the completion of its first commercial demonstration – a solar glass atrium at the entrance to a suburban Perth shopping centre.

The ASX-listed company said late last month that the solar atrium at the Warwick Grove Shopping Centre, made out of ClearVue’s transparent solar glass, would be used alongside battery storage to power lighting, signage and a display screen at the retail outlet.

Just how much energy the solar atrium is expected to generate was not specified, but ClearVue said the display screen inside the centre would provide up to date data on the amount of power generated, energy saved, and carbon emissions offset by the solar glass. We will update this story with any information on that we are able to gather.

The project is a major step forward for ClearVue, whose nano-technology, developed in conjunction with the Electron Science Research Institute (ESRI) at Edith Cowan University, generates electricity from a flat, clear sheet of glass while maintaining transparency.

The relatively young company listed on the Australian stock exchange in May of last year, and has since signed supply deals with eco-home builder Mirreco, and with Global Smart Cities to use its solar glass for outdoor applications such as bus shelters and advertising signs.

Victor Rosenberg, ClearVue’s executive chair, said the Warwick Grove project was the first real-lief example of the company’s solar glass in action – and an impressive one at that, considering its requirement of triangular and non-rectangular shaped units.

“By integrating our solar glass into the atrium entrance at this centre, we are now able to demonstrate how ClearVue’s technologies can be deployed as skylights and building facades in commercial and retail applications,” Rosenberg said in a statement.

“Additionally, we hope to be able to show the versatility of our product and technology to another group of potential customers,” he added.

The innovative BIPV installation is also significant to the owner of the Perth shopping mall, ASX-listed Vicinity Centres, which last year began a highly ambitious rollout of commercial solar and battery storage systems across its retail outlets in a number of states.

As we reported on One Step Off The Grid in May, stage one of that plan – more than 11MW of commercial solar across five shopping centres across W.A. and South Australia – was expected to deliver Australia’s largest single commercial array (5.8MW at Elizabeth City Centre in SA) and the “largest battery installation” (500kWh) at a shopping centre nationally.

Stage two, announced in September, extended the solar rollout to three more states – Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland – and boosted total PV generation capacity to more than 31,000MWh a year, according to Vicinity.

Also in September, Vicinity added a trial of energy sharing blockchain technology – through a partnership with local W.A. start-up, Power Ledger – to its $75 million solar and storage plans.

The blockchain trial will integrate Power Ledger’s energy management platform with the megawatts-worth of rooftop solar and battery storage Vicinity is rolling out, as part of an industry-leading effort to cut its commercial property power consumption by 40 per cent.

“We’re excited to be trailing such innovative leading-edge technology and embarking on a global first in solar energy application,” said Vicinity Centres executive general manager of shopping centres, Justin Mills, in the ASX statement.

ClearVue could transform the way we use glass in our centres, which not only reinvents the way we harvest renewable energy, but further reduces our exposure to the volatile energy market – a key focus for Vicinity.”

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