Sydney now boasts one of Australia’s biggest rooftop solar installations, with the connection this week of a 284kWp solar PV array, installed on top of a major office building in the city’s CBD.
The PV plant, constructed by Photon Energy Australia – a subsidiary of Netherlands-based PV developer Photon Energy – is expected to provide the building’s main daytime power source, with the possibility to export surplus electricity to the grid.
The system uses all of the available roof surfaces and exposed facades to maximise solar output per square meter at the lowest cost per kWh. It is projected to produce 371,000kWh annually; cutting the building’s electricity bills and boosting its NABERS and Green Star Rating by saving 352 tonnes of CO2 each year.
In February 2013, Photon Australia commissioned two rooftop solar power plants in the ACT‘s Symonston and Fyshwick. With an installed capacity of 144kWp the Symonston plant was the largest of its kind in the ACT at the time of connection. The Fyshwick plant has an installed capacity of 140 kWp.
And in December, Photon Australia’s Dutch parent company announced plans to launch a commercial solar leasing model, giving Australian commercial customers the choice of two different financing offerings: a hire purchase agreement; or a power purchase agreement that could allow the user to buy the system at a later date.
“Solar energy is rapidly changing the way Australians look at energy consumption”, said Photon Australia managing director, Michael Gartner. “With new financing models available, such as solar leasing or power purchase agreements, customers can now have their own eco-building with a rooftop power plant with no upfront investment.
“We are proud to be associated with this flagship project, which highlights that solar PV has reached the tipping point of becoming the most cost effective way of achieving energy efficiency and is a viable choice even given the constraints of inner city locations,” Gartner said.
Sophie is editor of OneStepOffTheGrid.com.au and deputy editor of its sister site, RenewEconomy.com.au. Sophie has been writing about clean energy for more than a decade.