Shopping Centre Operator Installs Innovative 500 kWp Solar Plant Without Capital Investment
Åkersberga Centrum shopping centre commissions 1200-module solar plant to cut energy costs and reduce carbon footprint
Leasing agreement provided by SBP will enable the shopping centre owner to unlock the benefits of sustainable power with no upfront investment
November 23, 2023 – Shopping centre owner, Citycon, has commissioned a 500 kWp rooftop solar plant on the roof of the Åkersberga Centrum shopping centre, located north of Stockholm. The 1200-module array, which uses innovative DC-coupled inverter technology to maximize energy production despite the roof’s challenging topography, is expected to produce 450,000kWh of renewable energy per year, reducing both the shopping centre’s energy bills and its carbon emissions.
It is the largest solar PV system to date to be installed on one of Citycon’s shopping centres in Sweden. For this project, Citycon entered into a leasing agreement with Stockholm-based renewable energy specialist, SPB. Under the terms of this agreement, SBP owns and will manage the installation on behalf of Citycon, who will be able to use 100% of the energy produced by the solar plant. This means Citycon will benefit from having a low-cost, sustainable and reliable power supply, without any upfront investment.
“Solar power is particularly attractive for retail properties, as they typically have high energy costs,” says Andreas Backström, CEO at SBP. ”With this type of leasing arrangement, business owners start saving money from day one, without any capital investment or payback calculation being necessary. We are seeing a significant increase in the number of businesses who are turning to this type of arrangement to transition to more sustainable operation.”
SPB chose the SolarEdge solution to maximize energy production and to overcome design challenges due to the building’s heavily-congested, multi-directional roof.
“The roof on the Åkersberga Centrum shopping centre has a complex design with many angles and irregularly shaped surfaces. All modules have been carefully positioned taking into account shading, guttering and distance to technical equipment on the roof. In this way, and by using SolarEdge inverter technology, we have been able to build a system that utilizes the unevenly distributed solar exposure in the most efficient way. With a traditionally designed string system, electricity production and profitability could have been reduced,” explains Backström.
In a SolarEdge system, Power Optimizers enable each module to operate at its maximum efficiency, thus minimising the effect of any shading, uneven panel degradation or heavy soiling.
The Power Optimizers also enable greater flexibility when it comes to laying out the roof space. In a traditional string inverter system, module placement is limited by the need for equal string lengths, as well as maintaining the same tilt of each module. In a SolarEdge system, no such restrictions apply, allowing the layout of the modules to adapt optimally to the roof shape and design to generate more power.
The Åkersberga Centrum shopping centre is located in Österåker borough, 30 km north of Stockholm, and boasts nearly 60 shops, restaurants and cafés. The solar energy will be used by Citycon to reduce its expenditure on electricity to power lifts, escalators and lighting in the public areas. Following the success of this latest installation, Citycon is planning to roll-out solar to more of its shopping centres.
SolarEdge is a global leader in smart energy technology. By leveraging world-class engineering capabilities and with a relentless focus on innovation, SolarEdge creates smart energy solutions that power our lives and drive future progress. SolarEdge developed an intelligent inverter solution that changed the way power is harvested and managed in photovoltaic (PV) systems. The SolarEdge DC optimized inverter seeks to maximize power generation while lowering the cost of energy produced by the PV system. Continuing to advance smart energy, SolarEdge addresses a broad range of energy market segments through its PV, storage, EV charging, batteries, electric vehicle powertrains, and grid services solutions. SolarEdge is online at www.solaredge.com