Australia’s largest rooftop solar PV system is near the final stages of commissioning, set to be operational by the end of the Christmas break. The 10MWdc rooftop solar system, spread across the roof of Australian Panel Products’ (APP) particleboard production facility in Oberon, New South Wales, consists of a whopping 27,000 solar panels.
The project which commenced two years ago, is three times larger than the 3 MW system on the rooftop of Moorebank Logistics Park in Sydney and has been approached in two stages. The first stage involved 6,000 solar modules and 28 50,000 TL inverters. The nearly completed extension adds 21,000 385 W modules spread across approximately 45 kilometres of mounting rail, coupled with 53 110,000 TL inverters.
The system is set to come online any day now with Newcastle-based engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) provider earthconnect confirming it is in the final stages of commissioning.
In an interview with pv magazine Australia, earthconnect’s Mitchell Stephens said that the system will be “100% operational by the Christmas break”.
“We’re in the final phases of commissioning, and completing our final quality checks this week, to make sure everything is working exactly as it should be before it will be fully energised,” he said.
“The amount of roof we’ve covered with panels is nearly 7.8 hectares … it’s enormous,” Stephens said. “It’s pretty impressive to stand up there on the roof and look at it.”
The system is anticipated to produce 14 GWh of clean energy annually, helping to offset 14,980 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.
A “win-win” for APP and the environment
APP, which incorporates the polytec and Structaflor brands, is expected to see significant savings on its electricity bills – all while reducing its environmental impact.
“There’s not many facilities as large as this in Australia so it’s definitely a win-win,” Stephens said. “The client is saving a lot of money on energy using what would otherwise useless space to generate a lot of clean energy.”
APP is working with earthconnect to install another 2.5 MW of roof-mount projects in the first half of 2022. This is in addition to it’s already impressive rooftop solar portfolio, with a combined 16.3 MWdc of solar energy generation across its facilities.
Commercial solar – a great investment for Australian businesses
Australian businesses looking to reduce their energy costs have likely wondered whether it’s worth investing in rooftop solar.
Commercial solar, once considered an expensive alternative power source, has now become increasingly cost-effective and one of the safest investments of 2022. In 2021, Australian businesses currently utilising rooftop solar are saved up to 31% of their energy costs compared to businesses using the grid.
Electricity is a significant operating cost for most businesses, many of which use the bulk of their power during daylight hours. This aligns perfectly with solar, as your business can use all the energy that is produced at the time of generation.