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Australia’s largest commercial solar and battery project at Narellan

CEP.Energy has completed the first stage of Australia’s largest shopping centre solar and battery microgrid at the Narellan Town Centre.

Specialist renewable energy and storage fund, CEP.Energy, has broken new ground in the renewable energy sector with the completion of the first stage of Australia’s largest shopping centre solar and battery microgrid at the Narellan Town Centre (NTC). 

Located in Sydney’s rapidly expanding south-west airport corridor, the renewable rooftop power plant was inspected and launched today by the minister for climate change and energy, Chris Bowen.

The system serves as an embedded network that currently provides the shopping centre and its 270 tenants with around 35 per cent of their energy needs, via:

  • A 2.6MW solar system covering 12,577 square metres, comprising more than 5,600 solar panels, that saves just under 3,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per annum.
  • 12 onsite batteries that hold 4MW / 10MWh of storage – equivalent to 800 residential batteries – and have the potential to feed enough power back into the grid to supply electricity to more than 1900 homes.

CEP.Energy has 30-year lease agreement with NTC – covering approximately 35,000 square metres of rooftop – to deliver a total renewable energy solution.

CEP.Energy engaged renewable infrastructure specialist RACV Solar to supply and install stage one works in 2021. Western Sydney sub-contractors were in turn engaged to assist with the major program of works which were progressively commissioned in 2023.

NTC is owned by Dart West Retail Pty Ltd, a partnership between the Vitocco and Perich families that began with the Centre’s opening in 1995. Today, it is Australia’s largest privately-owned shopping centre.

Following a major expansion that was completed in 2017, NTC boasts 76,000sqm of shopping, lifestyle and entertainment precincts containing over 220 speciality retail outlets, a cinema complex and 3,000 car spaces. NTC has a 10-year plan to expand to 135,000 square metres.

CEP.Energy CEO Peter Wright said it was pleasing to have completed the first stage of the landmark project.

“This project commenced during COVID-19 and faced the same supply chain challenges as many other major infrastructure projects at that time. The completion of this milestone is therefore testament to a strong partnership and project team,” Mr Wright said.

“We now look forward to working on stage two at Narellan Town Centre which has the potential to deliver an enhanced solar system totalling 10MW, and increased battery storage of up to 20MW.”

Wright said commercial and industrial rooftop solar and battery projects have the potential to accelerate the transition of Australia’s electricity grid to renewable energy.

“The opportunity to replicate this type of large-scale, rooftop microgrid project across commercial and industrial assets in Australia is significant, particularly in south-west Sydney with its pipeline of development projects to service the new Western Sydney Airport.”

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