As the nation’s largest wholesale fruit, vegetable and flower market, Sydney Markets is used to operating on a grand scale. And now the 43-hectare site in Flemington also houses Australia’s largest private sector rooftop solar set up, with an expansive 8594 solar panels capable of generating more than 3 MW of electricity.
The $8.9 million investment means that solar now provides 11 per cent of Sydney Markets’ annual power consumption. The installation earned installers Jarrod Shepherd and Matthew Linney from Autonomous Energy a 2018 Clean Energy Council Solar Design and Installation Award in the over 240 kW category.
In addition to the massive scale of the installation, it included innovative solutions such as the use of reflective paint to reduce heat loads on the building, which is particularly important in areas that mostly contain cool rooms. The Chair of Sydney Markets, John Pearson, said that the site has capacity to more than triple the generation of the system in the future to further meet its energy needs. Medium-scale systems (between 100 kW and 5 MW) are on the rise in Australia, with more than 100 MW installed in 2018. With a strong history in sustainability, particularly in the area of waste management, Sydney Markets is getting closer to its goal of being Australia’s greenest food market.