Super fund ISPT rolls out rooftop solar.

Superannuation fund property investor ISPT is installing up to 59 rooftop solar properties Australia-wide as part of its $12b portfolio, cutting utility costs by $27 through a range of energy efficiency initiatives. Their National Solar Project is a four-stage initiative which aims to reduce the cost of baseload electricity and improve energy security for ISPT’s clients.

Stage 1 of ISPT Rooftop Solar Rollout

ISPT Rooftop PV Solar Installations (source: http://ispt.net.au)
ISPT Rooftop PV Solar Installations (source: http://ispt.net.au)

Alicia Maynard, ISPT’s GM for sustainability and technical services said on the ISPT website that “We conceived this project in 2016 following a national review of our key property assets in terms of the opportunity to install rooftop solar PV panels,”

According to the Australian Financial Review, stage one will involve the installation of solar panels in 13 buildings for a total of 13,000 square metres of renewable energy generation. ISPT have already finished construction of PV solar rooftop arrays in Perth (at 100 St Georges Terrace), in Canberra (at 18 Marcus Clarke Street and 7 London Circuit) and in Melbourne (at Central West Shopping Centre). 

Some of the upcoming projects will include:

  • 50 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
  • 477 Pitt Street, Sydney (Sydney Central)

“The solar PV rollout is about positioning our portfolio to be at the forefront of the move to clean energy, taking an industry-leading position that will deliver value for our tenants, dividends for our investors and better solutions for our environment,” said chief executive Daryl Browning.

In stage two another 20 properties will have solar installed – with a massive 45,000 square metres of solar panels planned to be installed. These solar initiatives mean that ISPT’s commercial property portfolio has been given a 4.8 star rating by the NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) energy efficiency scheme.

Commercial Solar Power in Australia

This is another example of commercial solar gaining traction as a way to diversify portfolios, add value to a property, and reduce exposure to rapidly rising electricity prices. Some examples of recent commercial solar include:

 

 

Australian Renewable Energy Agency Solar Grants – 12 Plants Reach Financial Close in April

Australian Renewable Energy Agency
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) have reached a significant solar milestone with their funding of PV plants in Australia. As of EOM April 2017 all 12 plants currently receiving grant funding from ARENA have reached a “financial close”. A financial close refers to the fact that all plants are fully financed with council and environmental approvals. They also have agreements in place with regards to grid connection, construction, and engineering. Nine of the plants have already begun construction and, when completed, the 12 plants will generate enough renewable energy to power 150,000 homes. All together, the 12 plants will generate 468.8MW of solar energy – and this doesn’t count at least six more plants being developed without any assistance from ARENA.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht noted that the total cost of plant production has decreased by 40% over the last three years. The amount of grant funding required to launch large-scale solar projects has also shrunk dramatically – from $1.60/watt three years ago to just 28c per watt in 2017. In addition to this, there are at least six PV plants in advanced stages of development that have received no funding, an indication that the industry has advanced to a level where it’s financially feasible to develop solar plants even without any government intervention and Australia is well on its way to reaching our 2020 renewable energy target (large-scale renewable energy generation of 33,000 GWh)

The 12 plants received a total of $92m in grants from ARENA – in addition to $1bn provided by private investment.

Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) Funded Solar Plants

The Solar Plants ARENA have funded and their capacity:

  1. QLD – Kidston Solar Park, 50MW
  2. QLD – Longreach Solar Park, 15MW
  3. QLD – Collinsville Solar Power Station, 42MW
  4. QLD – Oakey Solar Farm, 25MW
  5. QLD – Darling Downs Solar Farm, 106.8MW
  6. QLD – Whitsunday Solar Farm, 52.8MW
  7. NSW – White Rock Solar Farm, 20MW
  8. NSW – Dubbo Solar Hub, 22.4MW
  9. NSW – Manildra Solar Farm, 42.4MW
  10. NSW – Parkes Solar Farm, 46MW
  11. NSW – Griffith Solar Farm (Neoen), 26.4MW
  12. WA – Emu Downs Solar Farm, 20.1MW

Sydney Renewable Power Company builds 520kw PV Solar Array at Darling Harbour ICC

Sydney Renewable Power Company, chaired by fashionista Carla Zampatti’s daughter Allegra Spender and Andy Cavanagh-Downs, have raised $1.43m in funds from the public to fund a 520kw PV solar array on the roof of the brand new Darling Harbour International Convention Centre.

Shares were offered at $2,750 each and reached the target amount easily, with even the interested Zampatti missing out as Spender advised that ‘family goes last in that situation’.

Sydney Renewable Power Company
Sydney Renewable Power Company’s Darling Harbour ICC Solar Panels

Sydney Renewable Power Company

SRPC offered the public 519 shares in the project, which spans the size of 12 tennis courts and will sit on the top of the brand new $1.5b International Convention Centre, located at Darling Harbour. This offering was a great way for the public who want to invest in solar but don’t have the opportunity to do it at their residence. Cavanagh-Downs was quoted as telling The Fifth Estate:

“So many people in the community want to see a faster transition towards renewable energy generation than is currently occurring,” he said. “SRPC provides those individuals the opportunity to speed up this transition by allocating capital to the financing of such projects.”

Sydney CBD Suburban/Regional Shopping Centre Solar

When the construction of this rooftop solar array was approved in 2013, it represented the largest rooftop solar installation in Australia. The ICC project has since been overtaken (by over 200%) by the efforts of GPT in Darwin, where the Casuarina Square PV array boasts a 1.25MW (megawatt), 2030MWh p.a. (megawatt hours) size, enough to power 310 households. Stockland in Shellharbour  (1.2MW in Illawarra with 3991 PV panels, generating 4,789kWh per day) and Weatherill heights (925kW with 2,900 PV panels, generating 3,620 kWh per day) also have larger rooftop solar installations. It’ll be great to see what Stockland come up with next as they have shown themselves as being a market leader in creating environmentally friendly developments with a strong emphasis on solar.

CEO of Commercial Property at Stockland, John Scroder, was quoted to InsideRetail as saying “Our investment in sustainability initiatives like solar not only provide a number of environmental benefits but also new jobs and financial savings for our retailers.”.