Thousands of solar panels to shade car park at Australia’s biggest shopping centre


Set to be completed in spring 2021, customers will be able to park on the Chadstone shopping centre’s rooftop which will be shaded by thousands of solar panels making up a 1.6 MW system.

The solar installation will help power the enormous regional shopping centre, which claims to be the largest in the southern hemisphere, and reduce the company’s energy consumption, Vicinity Centres’ Chief Development Officer, Carolyn Viney, said in a statement. The solar program is part of a $685 million car park upgrade beginning in February 2021.

Vicinity’s in house energy team is still finalising the the solar aspect of the expansion, including who the company plans to contract for installations and which modules will be installed. The company told pv magazine Australia details of the centre’s solar installation will be announced in the new year.

Vicinity has set a net zero emissions by 2030 target and has invested $73 million in solar across its Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia locations. Its Chadstone centre will become the 21st site in the company’s portfolio to install a renewable energy system as part its sustainability plan.

“As technology advances so does the business case for solar,” Vicinity’s Executive General Manager Shopping Centre Management, Justin Mills, said in a statement.

“We’re committed to energy leadership targeting renewable energy, combined with battery and other storage technology and creating efficiencies across our portfolio, as part of Vicinity’s Integrated Energy Strategy.

“This investment will generate clean power for our centres for the long term, make a positive environmental impact and deliver shared value for our customers, retailers and investors,” Mills said.

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