Amazon takes wraps off 1.4 MW rooftop solar system in Melbourne


Construction of Amazon’s first dedicated Australian sort centre is nearing completion with the world’s largest online retailer announcing the Victorian facility will be powered 100% by electricity, including renewable energy sourced from the sprawling rooftop solar PV system.

“As part of Amazon’s commitment to be net-zero carbon across its business by 2040, the building is powered 100% by electricity, avoiding the use of fossil fuels for its heating and hot water systems, and with energy efficiency as a top priority,” the company said.

Amazon Australia said the rooftop installation is the largest solar PV system at an Amazon site in Australia with 3,078 solar panels covering 7,121 square metres of roof atop the purpose-built facility at the new Amaroo Business Park in Craigieburn.

Already operational, the 1.4 MW system is expected to generate 80% of the energy needs of the facility which is in the final stage of internal fit-out and is expected to be opened before the end of the 2022.

As well as the rooftop solar system, the facility also has 12 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in place with the capacity to install 30 in the future, making up 20% of the site’s total car parks.

The Craigieburn sort centre is part of Amazon’s network of 17 sites around Australia and the company said the rooftop solar install will help the company meet its renewable energy goals, including its commitment to reach net zero carbon across its operations by 2040.

The system comprises more than 3,000 solar panels.

Image: Supplied

“Amazon is on a path to powering its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025, reaching 85% in 2021, and is the biggest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world,” the US-headquartered company said.

In Australia, Amazon has signed power purchase agreements (PPA) for a combined 262 MW in clean energy capacity across three utility-scale renewable projects, including the 150 MW Suntop and the 110 MW Gunnedah solar farms developed in regional New South Wales by Canadian Solar. Since purchased by CalEnergy Resources, the solar farms are already delivering clean energy to the grid and Amazon.

Amazon also has a PPA in place to purchase renewable energy from the 96.6 MW Hawkesdale Wind Farm being built by Global Power Generation in Victoria’s Western District.

The three projects are expected to generate a combined 717,000 MWh of renewable energy annually for Amazon with the solar farms to contribute more than half of the amount.

Globally, Amazon has announced 154 utility-scale wind and solar renewable energy projects and 225 on-site solar systems on fulfilment centres and sort centres. Together, these projects total more than 18.5 GW of capacity.

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