Australia’s largest investment in solar for shopping centres - $28m for solar across SA and WA

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Vicinity Centres (Vicinity) today revealed Australia’s largest ever investment in shopping centre solar with $28 million towards solar installations at five centres across South Australia (SA) and Western Australia (WA).

The announcement was made today by Vicinity Centres CEO and Managing Director Grant Kelley at Elizabeth City Centre in SA and attended by the Premier of SA, The Hon Steven Marshall.

The entire project, at 11.2 megawatts (MW), will see approximately 39,000 individual solar panels installed and will generate upwards of 17.4 gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy each year - equivalent to powering Adelaide Oval light towers for 3.5 years. Stage one of Vicinity’s solar installation will include: SA’s Castle Plaza, Elizabeth City Centre and Kurralta Park, and WA’s Ellenbrook Central and Currambine Central.

Vicinity’s $28 million investment includes three Australian shopping centre firsts, including:

  • Australia’s largest single solar installation at Elizabeth City Centre in SA at 5.8MW
  • Australia’s largest car park shade solar installation at 5.6MW, across four sites, and
  • Australia’s largest battery installation at a shopping centre - Castle Plaza in SA.

Solar panels will be installed on the rooftops of the centres and across a series of car park shades, making this the largest car park solar installation in Australia with more than 2,400 covered bays. Providing additional comfort, the solar shades will enhance the customer and retailer experience.
Mr Kelley said the project reflected Vicinity’s focus on embedding innovation across operations including the latest energy storage technology with the installation of a 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) battery at Castle Plaza in SA.
“The energy generated by the solar and battery systems will be used on-site, reducing reliance on the grid and helping give our retailers and our business a buffer from a volatile energy market,” Mr Kelley said.

Works will begin next month and create at least 150 highly skilled, local jobs across the five shopping centres during the construction period, with 110 in SA and 40 in WA.

“We are proud to be creating jobs across South Australia and Western Australia and investing in these important states in our shopping centre portfolio.”

Mr Kelley said the staged roll-out of solar installations would help Vicinity create a more climate resilient portfolio and, because SA and WA were well-positioned to take advantage of solar, would help the states progress towards a low-carbon future.

“The environmental benefits of the installations are equivalent to removing more than 9,500 cars from our roads and will create enough power to supply more than 3,000 average homes for a year.

“We know we have an important role to play in shaping better communities and creating more connected and sustainable destinations. This project will create shared value for our customers, retailers, investors as well as the communities where we live and operate,” Mr Kelley said.

Vicinity Centres Executive General Manager, Shopping Centres, Justin Mills said the large-scale investment would help ensure Vicinity’s centres were energy-smart through highly-efficient technologies, while also improving operational performance.

“Vicinity will be the first shopping centre group with a fully integrated energy system, incorporating solar, which will help us reduce the impact of rising energy costs while helping to deliver on our sustainability objectives,” Mr Mills said.

Mr Mills said Vicinity’s integrated energy strategy also included trial zones of double-sided solar panels, cloud tracking technology and fast charging stations for electric vehicles. The staged roll-out would include more solar panels across Vicinity’s national retail portfolio, with the next phase expected to be completed by 2020.

Project highlights:

  • Castle Plaza (Edwardstown, SA) 2,244 kW and 500 kWh battery
  • Elizabeth City Centre (Elizabeth, SA) 5,849 kW
  • Kurralta Park (Kurralta Park, SA) 100 kW
  • Ellenbrook (Ellenbrook, WA) 2,939 kW
  • Currambine (Currambine, WA) 100 kW
  • 39,000 solar panels, 11.2 MW capacity
  • Generating 17.4 GWh of energy per year
  • Enough solar to power 3,000 average homes for a year
  • Environmental benefit equivalent to removing 9,500 cars from our roads

For further information please contact:
Joel Crean
T +61 447 044 215

Kat Rellos
T +61 411 245 099

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