Australia’s first vertical solar panel system gives Docklands’ Harbour One access to solar and cuts Owners’ Corporation costs

  • 12
  • October 1, 2020

Photo of vertical solar panels at Harbour One


At WINconnect, we take pride in delivering innovative solutions to the buildings we service. We’re always working hard to provide services to our customers that align with their priorities and add value to their buildings.

We have partnered with the Harbour One building in Docklands, in Melbourne, to install Australia’s first vertical solar panel system. This will give the building the ability to generate enough renewable energy to power 11 apartments and offset 27,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

We have provided Harbour One’s community energy network infrastructure since the development was built 10 years ago. Through implementing a vertical solar panel system solution, the building Owners’ Corporation will reduce its carbon footprint and save $6,000 per year on energy costs.

The 87 solar panels that make up the innovative solar panel system were provided at no cost to the building.


How did we go about creating a vertical solar panel system?


Harbour One’s Owners’ Corporation made it clear to us that being able to generate its own renewable energy was a top priority for the building. However, due to the lack of space on the Harbour One rooftop it became apparent that traditional rooftop solar would not be viable. So, we went about devising a solution.

We noticed that while the flat rooftop surface itself was not available, there was still a lot of vertical surface area at the top of the building with exposure to direct sunlight.

Traditional solar panels that sit horizontally on rooftops weigh approximately 20kg each so weren’t feasible for installing on the vertical aluminium louvred surface. We were aware of conversations in industry circles around new lightweight solar panels and thought maybe that could be applied to Harbour One.

We worked with a supplier and installer to source lightweight solar panels that weigh approximately 8kg each and found that they could be glued to the vertical louvred surface on the Harbour One rooftop.


Community energy networks futureproof buildings to make anything possible


The ability to retrofit the solar panel system at Harbour One was made possible by their community energy network. With high density living proving popular, there are many buildings in Australia’s capital cities that should be making the most of the sustainable technology that is available.

We are Australia’s largest provider of community energy networks. This infrastructure futureproofs buildings, in that it makes it possible for buildings to adopt the latest technology as it becomes available, whether that’s solar panels or electric vehicle charging.

And who knows what new sustainable technological discoveries we will make in the coming decades? But what we do know is that buildings with community energy network infrastructure will be ready and waiting to pounce.


We make management easy, to OCs can focus on delivering value to residents


The solar panel system at Harbour One is fully funded, maintained and operated by WINconnect. It was provided to the building’s Owners’ Corporation at no upfront cost, therefore providing substantial value for the development’s residents.

The $6000 per year cost saving will come off the building’s common area power bill. This frees us spare cash for the Owners’ Corporation to invest in other services, such as an upgrade to the foyer or a fresh paint job, or alternatively cut annual body corporate fees.

We manage Harbour One’s solar panel system using our solar analytics tool. This digital tool allows us access to an online portal that shows how much energy is being generated at any given time, provides historical generation information, and identifies and communicates any faults with the system that can then be quickly rectified.

We can also grant the building manager access to the online portal so they can keep tabs on how the building’s solar panel system is faring. Key generation information can also be displayed on screens in common areas that building residents can view.

The vertical solar panel system at Harbour One is just one example of how we go above and beyond to meet our customers’ needs and deliver innovative, tailor-made solutions.

For more information on how your building can make the most of the latest sustainable technology to reduce your carbon footprint and cut costs, please contact us on 1300 791 970 or email

For additional details, check out the article by Domain on this groundbreaking project