Melbourne show goes green with solar power

Posted 18th November 2014 by Stuart

A 100kW solar power system power has been installed on Melbourne's largest indoor/outdoor venue, the Melbourne Showgrounds. Melbourne Showgrounds is the city’s largest and most versatile indoor/outdoor event venue. The expansive property is comprised of purpose-built exhibition and event spaces as well as restored heritage buildings and spans over 19ha. The showgrounds host some of Melbourne’s most popular trade shows, music and recreational events and is home to the Royal Melbourne Show, the state’s largest community event which attracts more than 450,000 visitors annually.

RASV chief executive Mark O’Sullivan said the society was continually looking for new ways to reduce environmental impacts and to reduce operating costs. "An energy audit to identify ways to improve our sustainability led us to solar power."

The installation on the administration centre rooftop of the showgrounds is comprised of 400 Yingli Solar 250W solar panels and 400 Enphase M215 microinverters. Venue manager the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria Limited says it expects the system to reduce the building’s electricity bill by up to 40 per cent and its carbon footprint by 172 tonnes per year.

“One of the greatest challenges we faced with the installation in the Melbourne Showgrounds was the limited roof space and partial shading from its air-conditioning plants," she said. "By using microinverters, we are able to overcome these limitations and produce a solar photovoltaic system that provides maximum yields.”

Enphase Asia-Pacific MD Nathan Dunn said the microinverters were designed to harvest more energy than string inverter systems "regardless of obstacles or shading".

"We have seen a steady increase in projects where Enphase was chosen over string inverters in perfect North-facing conditions due to our strong track record for superior production, reliability and safety advantages," he said.

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