Shopping centre solar roll-out claims biggest PV array, biggest battery

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Vicinity to roll-out of more than 11MW of commercial solar in a $28m project that will include largest rooftop array and a major battery storage installation.

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One Step Off The Grid

ASX-listed retail asset manager Vicinity Centres has announced the roll-out of more than 11MW of commercial solar in a $28 million project that will incorporate five shopping centres across two states.

Vicinity said on Tuesday that the $28 million project would install a total of 11.2MW of solar on the rooftops and as car park shading at shopping centres in Western Australia and South Australia – enough to generate 17.4GWh of energy a year.

The first stage of the massive commercial solar project, set to begin next month, will see panels installed at Castle Plaza, Elizabeth City Centre and Kurralta Park in SA and Ellenbrook Central and Currambine Central in WA.

And according to Vicinity, the project will gather a few new records for the Australian commercial solar and storage industry.

The 5.8MW array at Elizabeth City Centre is claiming to be Australia’s largest single solar installation, while the Castle Plaza system (2.2MW) will add 500kWh of battery storage – the “largest battery installation” at a shopping centre nationally.

The Kurralta Park (SA) and Currambine Central systems will both be 100kW, while the Ellenbrook Central system will be 2.9MW.

As noted, much of the solar will be installed as car park shading across four of the sites, with more than 2400 covered bays in all.

And Vicinity says it will also trial zones of double-sided solar panels, cloud tracking technology and fast-charging stations for electric vehicles.

“This project will create shared value for our customers, retailers and investors, as well as the communities where we live and operate,” said Vicinity CEO Grant Kelley.

According to Adelaide Now, Melbourne-based Beon Energy Solutions has been contracted to install the first phase of solar installs for Vicinity.

A second phase across another round of Vicinity shopping centres is expected to be completed by 2020.

The move to solar by Vicinity adds to a nation-wide commercial solar boom that some analysts are predicting could add a power station worth of new PV capacity this year alone.

Retail outlets have been a major part of the commercial solar market already, however, with companies like Stockland  making steady progress on plans to install a total of 12.3MW of rooftop solar across its portfolio.

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7 Comments
  1. Steve Applin 1 year ago

    Its good to see my local shopping centre (Ellenbrook) getting a 2.9 MW PV system. It joins a couple of other large scale systems (100kW<) in the suburb.

  2. Chris Drongers 1 year ago

    Being a bit facetious here – the 2.9MW at Ellenbrook will partly compensate for the grey and black roofs along with minimal insulation and solar optimal design dominant in new housing estates.

  3. George Darroch 1 year ago

    Vicinity are huge. They own a large proportion of Australia’s large shopping centres. After these five prove successful, I see a rollout across a lot more malls.

    • Ian 1 year ago

      Too right, this may be the start of a much larger rollout of shopping centre solar. Apparently there are 1753 shopping centres in Australia (quick google search) say 1MW on average you could be looking at 1 or more GW of solar power. As more centres show visible signs of solar installations those that don’t will be shamed.

      • George Darroch 1 year ago

        Even if you just had Vicinity, and even if they *just* installed 2MW at each of their 82 centres (which includes Chadstone) you’d be looking at 170MW. That’s not insubstantial.

  4. Jon 1 year ago

    Great to see 🙂
    The commercial rooftop space is a massive currently under-utilised resource for solar.
    The economics are going to push these type of installs as a lot of business are running on fairly low margins, power is a big cost and the majority of demand is during daylight hours.

  5. Nathan 1 year ago

    Very impressive project. Beon are winning a lot of work lately… I’m seeing them everywhere. A bit concerning for the rest of us solar companies, bloody tough to compete!

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