We have committed to Australia’s largest shopping centre solar program across two stages creating a fully integrated energy system incorporating the latest renewable technology innovations.
In May 2018, we announced the first stage of our solar program, a $28 million investment across five centres in South Australia and Western Australia. The 11.2MW project saw approximately 29,000 solar panels installed on rooftops and carpark shades at our centres, along with a large scale commercial battery, generating approximately 17.4 gigawatt hours of clean energy each year. The renewable energy generated is used at our centres, reducing reliance on the grid and providing a benefit to our retailers and our business as a buffer from the volatile energy market.
Stage one included the largest carpark solar installation in Australian retail property with 2,400 covered bays being constructed to provide additional solar generation and greater customer comfort.
Stage two of the solar program was announced in September 2018 with a further $45 million commitment to deliver an additional 31GWh annual generation – bringing the program total to 46.7GWh generation each year. In FY20, our industry-leading solar program continues. We have installed 25.2MW of solar across our managed portfolio at the end of FY20, completing installations at Castle Plaza, Elizabeth City Centre, Altona Gate, Victoria Gardens, DFO Homebush, Ellenbrook Central and Livingston Marketplace during the year.
While Australia continues to face uncertainty surrounding a clear national policy framework to contain electricity generation costs, our solar program will reduce Vicinity’s reliance on the grid and exposure to volatile energy pricing, delivering strong investment returns while reducing carbon emissions from our asset portfolio.