Adelaide rooftop solar could supply 25% of CBD energy needs

APVIAPVI maps Adelaide CBD's solar potential

Adelaide rooftop solar could supply over a quarter of the CBD’s energy needs, a new report has found.

Nearly half the CBD’s roof space could house 516,000 solar panels, according to analysis from the Australian Photovoltaic Institute (APVI).

The Spatial Analysis of Solar Potential in Adelaide report used APVI’s Solar Potential Tool (SunSPoT), developed by researchers at UNSW.

Energy Matters recently reported on the latest development in the SunSPoT project.

By calculating elements such as roof tilt, surface areas, and shading in the CBD, the report found Adelaide City could accommodate 129 MW of solar power.

This compares to just 4 MW of solar currently installed across buildings in the CBD.

Adelaide rooftop solar could save CBD customers millions

Adelaide rooftop solar array

New analysis show rooftop solar could supply 25% of Adelaide CBD’s energy needs. Image: supplied

Rooftop solar could meet 26% of Adelaide CBD’s energy needs, the report found. Almost half the city’s roof space (43%) was suitable for solar panels. Meeting this potential would generate 174 GWh of clean power each year, enough to supply 34,000 SA households.

This would offset carbon emissions by an equivalent 77,000 tonnes annually.

In addition, Adelaide CBD customers could save up to an estimated $54 million per year in electricity costs. This estimation was based on current retail market conditions and typical small business tariffs.

“This new research demonstrates the huge solar energy potential for our commercial centres,” said APVI’s Dan Stevens. “And the massive savings which businesses could be making.”

Analysis highlights buildings with top solar potential

The report modelled the solar potential of specific landmark buildings in the Adelaide CBD. It carried out case studies of the Centrepoint Building, Central Market and the central
building of Adelaide Convention Centre.

Combined, these buildings could deliver a potential 2.4 MW of solar to the grid, saving 1,500 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

Installing solar on the Convention Centre could generate 1,705 MWh, enough to power 331 homes, and offset 759 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

Central Market with solar could generate 1,120 MWh, enough to power 218 homes and save 499 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Additionally, the Centrepoint building, could generate 452 MWh of solar power, offsetting 200 tonnes of CO2.

Solar mapping tool extends to suburbs

Mr Stevens said APVI has received a $460,000 grant from ARENA to expand its SunSPoT map into suburbs.

This would benefit customers looking to install solar power systems or battery storage in their homes.

“We will need councils to support the rollout, so today is about highlighting the savings for Adelaide businesses and also making decision makers aware of its potential.”