Vicinity plans biggest solar array and biggest battery at shopping centres

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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