QIC Plots Shoptop Solar Farm for Canberra Centre

Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) is making significant strides toward energy independence with a new rooftop solar farm proposal for Canberra Centre, its flagship shopping complex in the ACT. The investment company, owned by the Queensland government, has submitted plans for a 2.4MW renewable energy system, designed by Mather Architecture that will be installed above the existing rooftop carpark.



Melissa Schulz, QIC Real Estate’s General Manager of Sustainability, stated that the Canberra Centre project is part of a broader sustainability program aimed at reducing the centre’s reliance on the local energy network. “The large-scale solar PV system proposed for Canberra Centre maximises the available site area, and at 2.4MW, this system will greatly reduce Canberra Centre’s demand on the local energy network, supporting us to achieve our net zero carbon ambitions,” she said.

The Canberra Centre, the second largest shopping centre in the ACT after Westfield Belconnen, will benefit from this renewable energy initiative in several ways. The new solar photovoltaic (PV) system will not only contribute to reducing the centre’s carbon footprint but also provide shade protection for the majority of vehicles parked on the roof level. Importantly, the project will not affect the existing carpark entry off Petrie Street and will maintain a height that does not exceed other built elements, minimizing visual impacts.

According to QIC’s application, the new rooftop solar structure will enhance the visual amenity of the centre by introducing a new articulated roof form that houses a visible solar energy system. This addition underscores the centre’s commitment to environmental sustainability. However, the installation will result in the loss of 38 carparks, reducing the total number of parking spaces to 762 across the centre.

Opened in 1963 as the Monaro Mall and envisioned in Walter Burley Griffin’s original plan for Canberra, the Canberra Centre has evolved through numerous renovations and now spans approximately 94,260 square meters with more than 403 retailers. This solar project marks another significant milestone in the centre’s ongoing development and commitment to sustainability.

By investing in such large-scale renewable energy projects, QIC is positioning itself as a leader in the transition to sustainable energy practices within the retail sector. The Canberra Centre’s new rooftop solar farm is a testament to this commitment, promising to reduce its environmental impact while providing practical benefits to shoppers and the local community.

Images via The Urban Developer

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