A $2 million, 925 kilowatt solar system has been officially switched on at Stockland’s Wetherill Park Shopping Centre in Sydney’s western suburbs.
The system comprises 2900 solar panels spanning 5695 square metres, and is estimated to generate an average of 3620 kilowatt-hours a day, which should cover about 23 per cent of the centre’s base building requirements.
Stockland group executive and chief executive of commercial property John Schroder said the company now planned to roll out more solar at “viable centres” across the portfolio.
“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,” he said.
“We truly believe in the ability for sustainable practices to change the energy landscape in Australia and this new solar system installation is an important step in that direction within the large scale commercial property arena.”
Stockland has been somewhat of a leader in the retail solar space, with its 2015 Shellharbour retail centre installation one of the biggest in Australian history, and having passed generation targets with 2.5 million kWh of energy produced to date.
Stockland has also employed a number of sustainability initiatives at Wetherill Park to get energy use down, with the redevelopment awarded a 5 Star Green Star – Retail Centre Design rating. These initiatives include mixed-mode air conditioning, low-energy light fittings, climate responsive ventilation systems and rainwater harvesting.
Community initiatives include cycling and shower facilities, public art projects and a Jamie’s Ministry of Food cooking school.
Mr Schroder said international research had pointed to green shopping centres being associated with higher sales.
“This coupled with the genuine savings that we can pass onto our retailers further influences the business case for turning green and how it can benefit everyone involved,” he said.
“Stockland is proud to be leading the sector in sustainability and investment in renewable energy.”
See our other stories on green retail:
- The mega-trends affecting retail sustainability: part 1
- The mega-trends affecting retail sustainability: part 2
- The mega-trends affecting retail sustainability: part 3
- Frasers aims sky high with world’s first Living Building Challenge shopping centre
- Shifting the game on retail: a deep dive with Brickworks LBC contestants