NEXTDC M1 is the first data centre which goes live with REC solar panels

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Munich – December 18, 2013: REC, a leading global provider of solar energy solutions, has continued its ascendancy in Australia by providing REC Peak Energy Series solar panels for Australia’s largest privately funded rooftop solar installation. 

Built by REC Platinum Partner Energy Matters, the new plant is owned and operated by Australian data centre company NEXTDC at its Port Melbourne facility. With 1,575 high performing REC 255 Peak Energy solar panels turning almost 3,000 m² of rooftop real estate to profitable use. This utility-scale project is unique in the Australian data centre industry and points the way forward for other commercial players.

The Melbourne installation makes NEXTDC the first data centre in Australia to use solar directly for their electricity needs. Generating 550 MWh of electricity every year, the NEXTDC M1 plant is part of the company’s drive to greater self-sufficiency in power generation – a business decision that enables it to lock down the costs of this key operational resource. The new solar system produces 5 percent of the electricity which NEXTDC uses at this site, delivering large annual cost savings on the company’s electricity bills from conventional sources. The electricity generated by the solar installation would be sufficient to power 88 Australian households every day, and the system will also reduce CO2 emissions by 670 tonnes annually, equivalent to taking approximately 200 cars permanently off the road.

Commenting on the installation, Nick Brass, General Manager Commercial Systems of Australian solar energy company Energy Matters says, "At Energy Matters, we believe in a world powered by solar energy. For this to take place, renewable energy equipment must be affordable, of the highest quality and easily accessible to homeowners, schools, community groups and businesses. REC solar panels are the right choice for yield, performance and reliability, particularly in a milestone project like the M1 data centre of NEXTDC, which leads the way in Australia’s IT sector with its power generation choices and energy efficiency.”

The benchmarks for the NEXTDC installation were indeed challenging. Data centres are highly complex electrical environments, and power integrity is essential. With galvanic isolation to prevent any leakage from DC to AC power systems, the project demonstrates that economics and engineering complexity can be successfully managed by Energy Matters with REC solar panels.

The NEXTDC rooftop installation is the latest project in the highly successful collaboration between Energy Matters and REC. It is only three years since REC solar panels made their debut in Australia, marketed by Energy Matters. Since then, the companies have supplied Australians with approximately 60 MW of REC solar panels, enough to power 15,000 households every day. “In 2012, Energy Matters was one of the top three REC partners in terms of worldwide unit sales of REC solar panels,” says John Coates, Head of Australasia, REC. “It’s a highly successful working relationship, and we are proud to be playing such a prominent role in Australia’s solar future.”

Australia’s climate and irradiation are a guarantee of long-term opportunities for solar energy in the country. Formerly dominated by the residential segment with small rooftop installations, the solar energy industry in Australia – with many incentive programs now closed – is looking to fresh opportunities in non-residential and utility scale projects. This landmark installation is clear testament to the ability of REC and Energy Matters to manage and deliver large installations in new business sectors.

For further information please contact:

Anja Hesse
Public Relations Manager, REC
Leopoldstr. 175, 80804 Munich, Germany
Phone +49 89 54 04 67 223 

About REC:

REC is a leading global provider of solar energy solutions. With more than 15 years of experience, we offer sustainable, high performing products, services and investments for the solar industry. Together with our partners, we create value by providing solutions that better meet the world’s growing energy needs. Founded in Norway, REC is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (ticker: RECSOL) and headquartered in Singapore. Our 1,500 employees worldwide generated revenues of NOK 4.1 billion in 2012.

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