Sunshine Plaza solar

Sunshine Plaza in Melbourne’s west has completed a large rooftop solar array that will not only lower carbon emissions but also shield tenants from rising electricity prices.

The privately owned shopping centre is also pitching to rejuvenate Sunshine by turning the Plaza into a hub for health and well being.

The solar installation at the shopping centre is a key part of this effort. It consists of 4175 solar panels with the capacity to produce up to 1.04 megawatts of energy – roughly 45 per cent of the plaza’s electricity needs.

Owners of the centre claim the array is one of the largest of its kind in the state and the largest on any retail rooftop in Melbourne, capable of producing more than 1.4 million kWh of energy a year. That’s enough energy to power about 245 homes with added benefit that energy cost savings will be passed onto tenants.

Part of the work involves LED lighting throughout.

Sunshine Plaza’s centre manager Ian Simpson says the solar project required a “significant investment”, one that speaks to an understanding that the precinct has a “considerable footprint” in the community.

“The project encompasses all aspects of what we can do for Sunshine,” Simpson said in a statement, “with particular emphasis on people, sustainability, environment and the community.”

Mr Simpson indicated a broader desire to “change the face of Sunshine” in coming times as his team predicts a boom in terms of growth and infrastructure. Mr Simpson said the work will position the plaza towards becoming “the ultimate health and wellbeing precinct” in the suburb.

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