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Solar bet for Crown Casino, with 300kW rooftop system

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One Step Off The Grid

commercial solar, rooftop solar, Crown

Image: Supplied

Melbourne’s Crown complex, which includes the landmark riverside casino and hotel, has installed a 300kW rooftop solar system, in an effort to cut its electricity costs and “boost its clean energy credentials.”

The system, designed and installed by Beon Energy Solutions and switched on in January, is being claimed as the largest in the Melbourne CBD, but One Step notes that a 400kW array was installed on the Port Melbourne roof of NextDC’s HQ in December 2013.

And given that was nearly five years ago – and in light of our own experience in publishing claims of “biggests” and “firsts” – there are bound to be others of a similar size we aren’t aware of (please comment below if you happen to know of any).

That said, the new Crown system – a total of 923 photovoltaic panels installed on top of the Southbank venue’s administration building on north-orientated 10-degree tilt frames – is nonetheless impressive.

And it adds to a growing number of commercial scale PV projects being installed in the Melbourne CBD – which according to a recent report, still holds a significant amount of untapped rooftop solar potential.

The report, published by the Australian Photovoltaic Institute (APVI) in conjunction with the University of NSW, identified enough suitable rooftop space in the Melbourne local government area to install a total of 461MW of PV.

And it said businesses in Melbourne’s CBD could meet more than 12 per cent of their own electricity needs – and cut their collective power costs by more than $100 million – just by tapping the city’s true rooftop solar potential.

Ironically, Crown Casino was named in that same report – alongside the MCG and Flinders Street Station – as one of the city’s landmark buildings that had the potential to go solar.

“Crown has been looking at solar options for a while, and the business case for a solar installation made sense,” said Crown Melbourne engineering manager Jeremy Sampson in comments on Tuesday.

“Crown chooses projects that are guaranteed to provide positive value, and it was the right decision to proceed.”

Beon said the PV system also needed to integrate with Crown’s existing co-generation plant, which provides standby emergency power and heat capacity.

Beon Energy Solutions general manager, Glen Thomson, said the company was delighted to deliver another successful large-scale solar solution.

“As with all our customers, the Crown project required some customisations that we managed to accommodate swiftly,” he said.

“I applaud Crown’s renewable energy initiative and I have no doubt that other energy-intensive sectors will be watching with interest as they weigh up their future energy requirements.”

This article was originally published on RenewEconomy’s sister site, One Step Off The Grid, which focuses on customer experience with distributed generation. To sign up to One Step’s free weekly newsletter, please click here.  

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  • George Darroch

    I’m not sure how I feel about making Crown’s pokies business more sustainable.

    300kW doesn’t sound particularly large to me, considering the size of their buildings. It’s still a good start though.

  • Ren Stimpy

    Excellent. I love it knowing that I’m doing my complete arse at your casinos but that that’s being solar powered.