Stockland is celebrating the official ‘switch on’ of a new $2 million single rooftop solar system recently installed at its Wetherill Park Shopping Centre to provide clean, green, renewable energy to the centre and its 210 retailers.
The 925 kW solar PV system installed by Autonomous Energy consists of more than 2,900 solar Photo-Voltaic (PV) panels across a total roof surface area of 5,695 square metres – equivalent to around 13 average sized home lots.
On average, the system will generate 3,620 kilowatt hours (kWh) per day – enough to power 125 homes and 23 per cent of the centre’s annual base building power requirements; with a target to generate 1,343,178 kWh per year.
John Schroder, Group Executive and CEO Commercial Property at Stockland, said: “We are excited to celebrate the ‘switch on’ of our new solar project at Stockland Wetherill Park and to continue to roll out more solar installations at all viable centres across our 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. 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 previously invested $2.8 million in solar projects installed across its Shellharbour, Stockland Green Hills and Nowra shopping centres in NSW.
In 2015, Stockland celebrated the switch on of one of Australia’s largest rooftop solar projects at Stockland Shellharbour. The project has been a unanimous success surpassing all targets and so far generating over 2.5 million kwh of energy.
The Stockland Wetherill Park solar system is just one of a number of sustainability initiatives at the shopping centre. Stockland Wetherill Park was awarded a 5 Star Green Star – Retail Centre Design rating from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) for taking an industry-leading approach to sustainable design and development of the $228 million redevelopment completed in December 2015.
A number of sustainability initiatives have been incorporated at the centre including mixed-mode air conditioning, low-energy light fittings and climate responsive ventilation systems to reduce energy and greenhouse gas emissions. The use of rainwater harvested for toilet flushing is also expected to have reduced water consumption by 5kL per day, the equivalent of 111, five minute showers every day.
The centre also includes a number of community initiatives including cycling and shower facilities to encourage locals to walk or ride to the centre, community focussed public art projects, and the first Jamie’s Ministry of Food cooking school for NSW.
John Schroder continues, “International research has found shopping centres integrating green principles are not only more energy and water-efficient, but can also generate 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. Stockland is proud to be leading the sector in sustainability and investment in renewable energy”
Stockland is also proud to have the most Green Star rated shopping centres in Australia. The diversified property company was also recognised as the most sustainable real estate company in the world in the 2016-2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and achieved Global Sector and Regional Sector Leader status in the 2016 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) survey in the category Diversified - Retail/Office.
 The 2014 UDIA State of the Land Report March 26, 2014
 A typical 5 person household uses 29.1 kWh electricity per day. https://www.energymadeeasy.gov.au/benchmark
 The predicted savings are estimated using the Green Star Retail Centre V1 Energy Calculator and energy modelling software based on an electricity cost of 15.5 cents per kWh.
 Green Building Council of Australia – Retail Fact Sheet: www.gbca.org.au/uploads/221/1757/Factsheet_Retail_Centrev1.pdf.