Australia discount department store chain Kmart has become the latest in a string of big retailers to tap commercial solar, commissioning its second 100kW system at their new site under construction in Port Macquarie, NSW.
Melbourne-based PV installer Todae Solar said last week it had been selected for the NSW project, after successfully installing a 100kW system at Kmart’s Jankadot Distribution Centre in WA.
Todae said its extensive experience in delivering solar installations for construction projects would be invaluable for the Port Macquarie job, with strict timelines to ensure completion before the end of 2016.
For Kmart, which is owned by retail giant Wesfarmers and has more than 190 stores nationwide, adding solar is part of a commitment to be more energy efficient, while delivering better energy economy.
The 100kW system is expected to generate around 148,000 kWh a year, cutting the store’s energy costs and reducing their dependency on the grid.
Commercial solar has been gearing up in Australia over the last few quarters, led mostly by activity in the South Australian market, and in Victoria Todae Solar’s home state.
In Western Australia, the state government has introduced measures to boost commercial solar uptake, with the recent removal of regulatory red tape.
The change means operators of commercial solar power stations are no longer required to be licensed by the Economic Regulation Authority; an issue that had previously prevented some from installing a system.
“The next phase of the solar revolution will be driven by commercial rooftop solar systems and that’s why we’re making it easier for businesses to take advantage of this technology,” said WA energy minister Mike Nahan.
“These changes potentially reduce the cost of commercial-scale rooftop solar installations by up to $30,000 per system, while maintaining the safety and integrity of the electricity network.”