Huge solar array being built in Adelaide

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Monday, 21 October, 2019

Huge solar array being built in Adelaide

Work has commenced on a major solar installation in Adelaide that will become one of the nation's largest rooftop solar arrays.

The installation at the in-development Tonsley Innovation District will see an initial 7400 solar panels deployed across the 5 ha roof of the district.

As the Tonsley District grows over time, the installation will expand to deliver as much as 6 MW of capacity from up to 20,000 solar panels, which will be supported by on-site battery storage.

Under the Tonsley District Energy Scheme, at least 30% of the Adelaide suburb's energy demand will be met by renewable resources.

The scheme's owner and operator, multi-utility business Enwave Australia, has contracted Tonsley-based ZEN Energy to conduct the installation.

ZEN Energy is a division of SIMEC Energy Australia, which is part of Sanjeev Gupta's GFG Alliance.

Enwave Australia has committed to investing around $40 million over 50 years for battery storage, photovoltaics, smart technologies and electrical assets for the project.

South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the solar installation will offset up to 3500 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually over its lifetime.

"[This project] is part of Tonsley's commitment to sustainability and innovation, as well as its Six Star Green Star Communities Rating," he said.

"The system will optimise solar energy generation for the energy demands of the entire Tonsley precinct, enhancing security of energy supply and providing competitive energy pricing to all customer classes, including commercial and residential."

Enwave Australia CEO Cameron Evans said the scheme has been designed to deliver a reliable, cost-effective and renewable supply of energy to customers within the district.

"“The rooftop solar installation is a key component of this system, which will be integrated into the wider scheme to ensure all customers benefit from the installation," he said.

"We are proud to be part of this scheme as another key step in the establishment of Tonsley as a leading innovation district."

The Tonsley Innovation District was established on the site of a former Mitsubishi manufacturing plant in the southern Adelaide suburb.

Image credit: © Bartussek

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