More Major Australian Shopping Centres To Go Solar

Australian shopping centres - solar energy

Image: Vicinity Centres

Vicinity Centres yesterday announced it will be investing $28 million in solar power system installations at five of its shopping centres across South Australia and Western Australia, with work to begin next month.

The projects associated with stage one:

  • Castle Plaza (Edwardstown, SA) 2,244 kW + 500 kWh battery system – Australia’s largest battery installation at a shopping centre
  • Elizabeth City Centre (Elizabeth, SA) 5,849 kW – Australia’s largest commercial solar installation at a single site
  • Kurralta Park (Kurralta Park, SA) 100 kW
  • Ellenbrook (Ellenbrook, WA) 2,939 kW
  • Currambine (Currambine, WA) 100 kW

All up, the above projects have a collective capacity of just over 11.2 megawatts. The 39,000 solar panels used in the installations will generate more than 17.4 gigawatt hours of electricity a year according to the company . As well as on rooftops of buildings, solar panels will create shade for 2,400 car parking spaces at four sites.

Bifacial solar panels will get a look-in with trial zones implemented, along with cloud tracking technology and fast charging stations for electric vehicles also installed as part of the project.

Vicinity’s solar energy splurge will also support a bunch of jobs – 110 in SA and 40 in WA.

“A win for local jobs, a win for investment and a win for energy in South Australia,” said South Australian Premier Steven Marshall, who was present when the announcement was made at Elizabeth City Centre yesterday.

A second stage will see more solar panels rolled out across some of Vicinity’s national retail portfolio of 79 centres, with the next phase expected to be completed by 2020.

“We know we have an important role to play in shaping better communities and creating more connected and sustainable destinations,” said Vicinity Centres CEO and Managing Director Grant Kelley. ” This project will create shared value for our customers, retailers, investors as well as the communities where we live and operate.”

Stage one will make a significant contribution towards Vicinity’s efforts in lowering its carbon emissions. For FY17, the company reported it had achieved an 8% reduction in carbon emissions intensity from FY16, with 235 gigajoules of energy consumed sourced from solar1.

Commercial solar has been going gangbusters in Australia recently thanks to ongoing cost reductions coupled with high electricity prices, accelerating payback.

Among other large commercial systems expected to be up and running soon are Stockland’s 1.863 MW PV project at  Stockland Green Hills in East Maitland, New South Wales and an installation at Woolworths’ new distribution centre in Dandenong South, Victoria.


  1. It’s not clear if this was from solar PV or solar hot water. If the former, that converts to 65 megawatt-hours
About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.


  1. Who won the contract?

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