The rooftop parking area of the Sunshine Plaza Shopping Centre on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast now hosts Australia’s largest installation of bifacial solar panels.

The 1.1MW installation, designed and installed by Autonomous Energy, is the topping on a $440 million redevelopment of the site.

Bifacial solar modules produce electricity from the front and back of the panel, and the owner hopes for up to 30% more output compared with regular panels.

Solar shading structures support 2,710 LG Electronics NeON2 bifacial panels that cover 280 parking spaces over two areas of the multi-storey car park.

“Solar car parks are the ideal place to use bifacial panels as there is plenty of reflected sunlight reaching the rear side of the array, which substantially boosts efficiency,” said Autonomous Energy head of projects Soleman Massoud.

LG Electronics claims in-field testing of the NeON2 technology demonstrates bifacial modules can boost efficiency by up to 30% compared with regular solar panels, depending on the installation.

The Sunshine Plaza solar car park will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1,559 tonnes CO2-e per year, whilst generating enough energy to power about 310 homes.

Other organisations to install solar car parks include Sydney Airport, University of Southern Queensland, Monash University, Sydney Markets, Westfield Coomera and Victoria’s Department of Justice.