Another suburban Australian shopping centre, this time in Queensland, has opted to generate its own, cheaper solar power, with a 520kW PV system installed on the roof of the Caboolture Square complex north of Brisbane.
The Courier Mail reports that the 1600-panel array was commissioned by the shopping centre’s landlord, p, less than two years after it bought the property for a retail trust in late 2016.
Alceon asset manager Tim Farquhar said the system – installed by local Brisbane outfit GEM Energy – was expected to save $150,000 plus a year in energy costs and could be paid off anywhere between three-and-a-half to five years.
“It’s effectively a 20 per cent return on the investment without any capital uplift and will ultimately prove the value of the building,” Farquhar told the paper.
And he said that, as battery storage became cheaper, the centre would consider adding more solar, and minimising the use of grid supplied electricity.
“We foresee batteries further cementing renewables and expect to double the size of our installation in the next few years supplanted by batteries, with the prospect of becoming one of the first 100 per cent carbon-neutral centres.”
As we continue to report on One Step, shopping centres offer prime real estate for solar – on rooftops and as car park shades – which is being installed at a head-spinning rate by landlords and property groups around the country.
And, as Alceon Group is discovering, the commercial case is a pretty good fit, too.
Just last week we reported that Local Government Super had revealed plans to install a 430kW solar car port at its MarketPlace Leichhardt shopping centre, in Sydney, to supply 40 per cent of that facility’s energy demand.
And earlier this month, ASX-listed retail asset manager Vicinity Centres announced the roll-out of more than 11MW of commercial solar in a $28 million project that will incorporate five shopping centres across two states.
The $28 million project will install a total of 11.2MW of solar on the rooftops and as car park shading at shopping centres in Western Australia and South Australia – enough to generate 17.4GWh of energy a year, Vicinity said.