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Sydney Markets takes rooftop solar to massive 3MW – maybe more to come

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One Step Off The Grid

New South Wales’ Sydney Markets is once again boasting one of Australia’s largest commercial rooftop solar arrays – this time with a combined total of more than 3MW, after the addition of a massive 2.2MW array spanning the rooftops of a further two market buildings.

The newly added capacity was officially “switched on” on Wednesday, almost exactly one year after the Markets completed its previous installation – a purpose-built 640kW solar car park, pictured below.

As we reported here, the solar car park took the Flemington icon’s total solar capacity to just under 1MW – making it one of the nation’s biggest commercial arrays at the time, and adding 350 shaded parking spaces.

The new $8.9 million array, installed on the rooftops of the Market’s Buildings D and E, takes the total number of panels install at the site to 8,594 – enough to generate around 11 per cent of annual power consumption.

And according to John Pearson – who is chairman of the unlisted public company – there’s still room to go bigger.

“Sydney Markets has additional roof capacity to more than triple the generation of this solar system,” Pearson said on Wednesday. “We may continue to build upon and expand this system to meet our future energy needs.

“We are committed to reducing waste, decreasing our carbon footprint and prioritising environmental conservation and sustainability,” he said.

Sydney Markets CEO, Brad Latham, says the company has also saved more than $1 million a year through its waste recycling program, which sees it recycle upwards of 70% of all waste onsite.

“This solar system will enable us to generate sustainable energy, as well as drastically reduce our carbon footprint,” Latham said.

But if the Sydney Markets does now boast – as it claims – the nation’s largest private sector rooftop solar system, it is not by any great margin.

And at the rate that Australian business and industry are installing commercial PV, it couldn’t expect to hold that title for long, either.

Just last month, the newly renovated South Australian Produce Market in Pooraka, northern Adelaide, revealed it would be powered by a huge hybrid solar and battery storage microgrid.

As reported on One Step, the state government-backed hybrid system will include a 2.5MW solar PV array, 4.2MWh of Tesla lithium-ion battery storage, and a 2.5MW onsite diesel generator, for back up.

The $10.5 million South Australian project is expected to save stall-holders more than $500,000 a year on their bills.

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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  • Barri Mundee

    Encouraging news. Gradually fossil fuels will be relegated to a residual role as arrays such as these are rolled out.

  • Joe

    What a glorious sight seeing all those solar panels.

  • john

    I received a news item this morning where one of the larger shopping center owners in Au are going to spend $23 million putting solar on their various centers.
    This is good news the expected return on the expenditure is put at 11%, now that is compelling.

  • Ren Stimpy

    Magnificent!