Vicinity Centres To Install $75m of shopping centre solar.

Vicinity Centres revealed today that they will spend $75m to install solar at seventeen (instead of five) shopping centres in South Australia, Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia, after previously indicating that thy would ‘only’ be spending $28m to roll our commercial solar across five of their shopping centres. This is being touted as ”Australia’s largest-ever property solar program”.

Vicinity Centres and Commercial Solar for Shopping Centres

Vicinity Centres Shopping Centre Solar
Vicinity Centres Shopping Centre Solar – Vicinity CEO/MD Grant Kelley and Premier of South Australia Steven Marshall.

We wrote about Vicinity’s initial shopping centre solar plan back in May, when the initial figure was $28m. The scope of what Vicinity are hoping to do have changed drastically over the last few months – and they have decided to throw almost 300% more money at the project and expand it to more states. 

Stage 1 will still involve 11MW of commercial solar across five shopping centres and is already underway.

The second stage is expected to be completed by the end of 2019. It involves extending the program to Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland – generating over 31,000MWh of solar energy each year. 

“We know our centres have a considerable footprint in our communities which is why we’ve committed more than $75 million towards stage one and stage two of our solar project,” said Vicinity’s head of shopping centre management, Justin Mills, in comments on the project repeated in One Step Off the Grid.

“This investment will generate clean power for our centres for the long term, make a positive environmental impact and deliver shared value for our customers, retailers and investors,” he said.

“As technology advances so does the business case for solar. We anticipate strong investment returns with the project to generate an internal rate of return of approximately 12 per cent, while also reducing our consumption from the national electricity grid by up to 40 per cent.”

Vicinity Solar Project Information and Timeline
Vicinity Solar Project Information and Timeline

The second stage rollout will also create over 300 solar jobs during the construction phase and 40 permanent roles once it’s completed.

Read the original press release by clicking here

 

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Vicinity Centres to launch $28m Solar Project

Australia based retail asset management company Vicinity Centres have advised that they will spend $28m to install 11.2MW of solar power on top of five shopping centres in two states. 

Vicinity Centres shopping centre solar project

Vicinity Centres Solar Project
Vicinity Centres Solar Project (source: afr.com)

The Vicinity Centres project will involve the installation of 39,000 solar panels across  Castle Plaza, Elizabeth City Centre and Kurralta Park in South Australia and Ellenbrook Central and Currambine Central in Western Australia. The panels will be able to generate 17.4 GWh of electricity each year. 

Vicinity chief executive Grant Kelley spoke about their reasons for starting up the project:

“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,” he said.

 
The Vicinity solar project will also be looking forward in terms of solar panel technology – utilising ‘trial zones’ for double-sided solar panels, cloud tracking technology and even fast charging stations for EVs (electric vehicles). 

Shopping centres have seen quite a lot of private solar investment over the past year or so – the Stockland shopping centres have started work on a 12.3MW rollout of rooftop PV solar on their premises. The Stockland solar project is expected to generate around 17.2GWh of energy per annum and cost around $23.5 million to install their 39, 000 panels. Since they use such a massive amount of electricity it makes sense to insulate themselves from the seemingly inexorable electricity price hikes. 

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