Helicopter does heavy lifting for 1.75 MW rooftop solar install

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A 1.75 MW rooftop solar system has been installed atop one of the first buildings to be completed at the billion-dollar Yards industrial precinct being developed at Kemps Creek in Western Sydney by international property giant Frasers Property Industrial.

The rooftop system was delivered by New South Wales (NSW) based solar engineering company Smart Commercial Solar (SCS) in partnership with South Australia-headquartered solar procurement outfit Hunter PV.

The system includes more than 3,000 Jinko Solar panels, an 808 kWh battery storage energy system, and three 702 kVA generators but installing the system was not without its challenges.

SCS said initial plans for crane lifts were impractical due to space and time constraints while roof access and drainage had further complicated the installation process.

The company opted for a helicopter lift, saying the one-day lift had significantly reduced installation time, minimised disruptions to site operations and – with SCS Project Manager Shaun Wells pointing out that the temperature on the day had soared above 40 degrees Celsius – alleviated staff fatigue.

“Unfortunately, we picked the hottest day of the year, but this project provides unique, embedded generation for Frasers Industrial Property’s customers with battery backup, generator backup; an ideal generation package,” he said.

The system includes more than 3,000 of Kinko Solar’s 550 W panels.

Image: Hunter PV

SCS said the integrated network which is now undergoing testing and commissioning, will significantly reduce energy costs for the future tenants of the building that is part of The Yards industrial precinct being developed by Frasers, Aware Super and Altis Property Partners.

The $1 billion masterplanned estate is set to be one of Sydney’s largest industrial developments, spanning 70 hectares, and will accommodate approximately 400,000 square metres of warehouse and logistics facilities.

This rooftop install is the latest for Frasers which has delivered a number of large-scale C&I solar systems, including a 900 kW rooftop solar installation in Melbourne that is managed by Frasers-owned Real Utilities, and a 1.5 MW rooftop solar plant at the Horsley Park industrial estate in Sydney’s west.

The company’s ESG report says it generated 18 GWh of renewable energy globally in 2023, a 16% increase from 2022, and is targeting of 215 MW of renewable energy capacity across its property portfolio by 2030.

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