Shopping center solar transformation in Australia 2020
At Brisbane’s Calamvale Shopping Centre a major solar energy overhaul is currently underway, with completion due to fall in the coming weeks. On the rooftop of the centre more than 2,300 solar panels are being installed , that will generate an average energy saving of 3570 kWh per day.
The project involves an 850 kW solar array that covers most of the rooftop surface with REC Twin Peak premium PV panels. An older product of the Norwegian solar manufacturer the TwinPeak family of panels debuted its high-efficiency, Alpha Series, half-cut mono n-type heterojunction (HJT) module that is billed as the world’s highest-powered 60-cell solar panel, at last month’s All-Energy event in Melbourne. The launch of the Alpha module follows the TwinPeak 2 Mono and REC n-type mono panel N-Peak last summer in December.
With installation in progress and completion is expected by Christmas, the initiative is announced as the start of a larger scale solar rollout within the Retail First portfolio to other shopping centres . With 19 shopping centres in its ownership, Retail First prides on having the largest privately-owned shopping center portfolio in Australia.
Bernie Furtado from Retail First said “We’re pleased to be leading the way among major retail operators in shifting to renewable energy,”. “We are committed to reviewing our centres for the suitability of solar systems while Calamvale is our first solar installation.“
Against electricity prices hikes a considerable number of shopping centres across Australia are rolling out solar as a buffer . The biggest initiative to date was announced by retail property group Vicinity Centers, which is rolling out a huge 31.8 MW solar panels program across its shopping centres in Queensland,Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia to the tune of $73 million.
More and more shopping centres across Australia start to utilise solar-shaded parking amid a lack of rooftop space. For example, Willows Shopping Centre in Townsville is looking to build a massive 1.5 MW of solar array to cover more than 500 new car spaces, while a 440 kW carpark structure covering three double-parking bays will almost completely cover the daytime energy needs of Dunsborough Centrepoint Shopping Centre.