Woolworths completes commercial-scale rooftop solar installation at SA distribution centre

Woolworths distribution centre Adelaide


Woolworths’ newly-expanded Adelaide Regional Distribution Centre boasts a rooftop solar array comprised of 3,500 panels. Somewhat unusually, Woolworths have described the system as “1.6 MVA,” choosing to use megavolt amperes rather than noting the more conventional megawatt capacity.

First announced in 2019, $57 million upgrade to the supermarket’s South Australian distribution centre has seen it grow to the size to four Adelaide Ovals, totalling 94,000 square metres.

Woolworths Group told pv magazine Australia that the solar system was supplied and installed by Todae Solar and used Jinko JKM380M-72 PV modules. Florian Hess acted as a solar systems consultant, assisting the primary building contractors,  Hutchinson Builders, with the technical installation review, commissioning of the works and coordination with the Energy Regulator, South Australian Power Network. Bestec Consultants also assisted Woolworths with the design of the solar system.

The commercial-scale rooftop solar system at the site is “the largest solar installation in the Primary Connect network,” which is run by Woolworths. The company said the solar system will supply 20% of the sizeable centre’s electricity demand annually. Woolworths have not released any information on whether there are plans to integrate battery storage solutions at the site.

Last year, Woolworths announced it would switch to 100% renewable electricity by 2025, making it one of Australia’s largest corporations to make the RE100 pledge as the campaign reached new heights in 2020.

Woolworths is Australia’s sixth largest electricity user and its renewable energy commitment will drive around 880 MW worth of solar and wind projects. As of November 2020, the supermarket chain has installation solar systems at more than 150 of its locations nationally.

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In July 2020, Woolworths converted 3,000 square metres of rooftop at its headquarters in Bella Vista, New South Wales into an urban solar farm, selecting the recently-acquired Epho to install a 572 kW, 1,400 panel solar system.

“As the operators of Australia’s largest retail supply chain, we want to help build a better tomorrow for generations to come,” Woolworths Group’s Primary Connect Managing Director, Paul Graham, said in a statement.

“We’ve made a multi-million dollar investment in renewable energy at this site with a massive solar installation, which is set to offset around 20 per cent of our annual energy needs.”

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