Western Sydney shopping centre taps solar to slash power bills by 25%

An impressive 1MW rooftop solar array has been installed across a shopping centre in western Sydney that is expected to shave an estimated 25% off its annual electricity bill.

Commercial solar specialist Todae Solar announced the completion of the 2,500-panel project late last month, at the Eastern Creek Quarter retail precinct that is being built for Frasers Property by Quasar Construction.

The shopping facility will accommodate a combination of retail outlets, entertainment venues, community spaces and a “dining hub,” when it is finished.

Todae Solar senior project development manager Ryan Gordon said Frasers Property wanted to achieve a 6-star Green rating for their greenfield retail precinct.

The property developer has also established its own energy retailer business, Real Utilities, to supply 100 per cent renewable energy to all of its portfolio by 2023, using offsets and installed generation.

“This project motivated everyone involved to deliver our best work to assist Frasers Property in achieving that incredible renewable target,” Gordon said.

The company says the solar project was delivered nine days ahead of schedule.

Australia’s commercial solar market has been undergoing huge growth over the past couple of years, with the size and number of systems being installed both on the increase.

Shopping centres around the country have been some of the early movers into rooftop solar, with large amounts of free roof space and the potential to offer tenants a discounted power supply.

Major commercial property managers, including Vicinity, Stocklands, GPT and Lend Lease, have all committed to the roll out of rooftop solar systems on their retail property assets.

Some recent examples include the Townsville-based Willows Shopping Centre, whose owner and manager Dexus – one of the latest Australian companies to join the RE100 initiative – is installing a 1.5MW array on a new 500-space car park.

And in Melbourne’s west, the Sunshine Shopping Plaza has installed a 1.04MW solar system that is expected to provide 45% of the centre’s energy needs.

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