Australian property giant Stockland is set to begin work on the first of 10 major commercial solar arrays it is installing on shopping centres across Australia, a $23.5 million project the company says will collectively generate 17.2 GWh of energy a year.
Project number one, a $3.4 million 1.6MW PV system on the roof of Stockland Cairns, was inspected on Thursday by Queensland minister for trade, Curtis Pitt, alongside Stockland CEO Mark Steinert.
Another four Queensland-based Stockland shopping centres will be included in the nation-wide effort, including in Caloundra, Hervey Bay, Bundaberg and Burleigh Heads.
As we have reported on One Step Off The Grid, Stockland already has more solar panels installed across its assets than any diversified property company listed in Australia, and will roll out new solar installations across shopping centres in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.
“We’ve already invested more than $4.5 million in successful solar projects at four of our shopping centres in NSW and this project will extend our reach across 10 of our centres on the east coast,” said Steinert in comments on the project last month.
The company is also working hard to incorporate solar power in its new residential offerings, such as the new suburb it is developing on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
The suburb, called Aura, that will offer buyers a choice from 40 new 7 star NatHERS rated homes, designed by 24 Australian builders, with the option to include enough solar and battery storage to power the households from “dawn to dusk.”
Solar and storage aside, Stockland says all homes in the Aura community will include peak smart air conditioning, water tanks and off peak wiring for appliances, while the village will have an electric car charging station and smart LED street lighting.
“The Queensland Government has a long history of partnering with Stockland through the development of sustainable communities, shopping centres and recreational facilities,” said Pitt, at the Stockland Cairns site on Thursday.
“Stockland is delivering road infrastructure to support the Aura and Bokarina Beach developments. Our increased $20,000 First Home Owners Grant is also making it easier for those entering the housing market to purchase in one of Stockland’s new communities such as Pallara,” he said.
“We’re extremely proud to be setting a new standard in solar for Australian property which will help create clean, green energy for our retailers, our customers and the communities we operate in,” said Steinert.
“Investing in technology like solar energy is not only environmentally sustainable, it also makes good business sense. Our forecast average yield over a 10 year period is 11.6 per cent on capital invested, generating strong shared value for both our investors and our communities,” he said.
Outside of Queensland, solar will also be installed on Stockland shopping centres in Merrylands and Green Hills in NSW; and Traralgon, Point Cook and Wendouree in Victoria.