With large electricity consumers most exposed to wholesale electricity prices and therefore feeling last year’s price hikes acutely, an increasing number of businesses are turning to rooftop PV to cut bills.
Major shopping centre owner Stockland has announced a program to install over 10 MW of rooftop PV across nine sites in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.
Sydney-based Verdia will design and deliver the rooftop systems to Stockland, alongside energy efficiency improvements. Combined, the measures are expected to cut onsite electricity costs by 25%.
“We’re currently assessing, developing or delivering over 130 MW of behind-the-meter solar at 350 sites across the country,” said Verdi CEO Paul Peters in a statement. “Even for the largest energy users, these sorts of projects are relatively new. They require specific expertise, the right resources and take time to manage.”
Verdia reports that it has been working with Stockland on site and business case assessments, engineering and system design, and grid connections. It says that economies of scale delivered by developing projects across various sites can reduce paybacks to less than five
|Shopping centre location||System size (MW)|
|Burleigh heads (QLD)||1.64|
|Caloundra (QLD)||250 kW|
|Hervey Bay (QLD)||1|
|Point Cook (VIC)||1.82|
|Tralalgon (VIC)||500 kW|
Alongside the Verdia deal, Stockland is adding solar PV to a further four shopping centre rooftops in NSW. Combined, the systems, installed in Sydney, the Hunter and Illawarra regions, will total more than 4.7 MW of generation capacity.
The NSW program was announced earlier this week, at the Merrylands shopping centre. Verdia CEO Peters, NSW Minister for Resources and Energy Don Harwin, and Stockland Group Executive & CEO Commercial Property John Schroder spoke at the announcement.
Stockland worked with Verdia on the 1.22 MW rooftop array on its shopping centre in Merrylands. The property owner claims that the system has already supplied a quarter of the building’s electricity demand since its installation last summer.
“Investing in technology like solar is not just good for the environment, it also makes good business sense,” said Stocklands’ Schroder.
Stockland has committed to investing $23.5 million in rooftop PV. It owns more than $17.9 billion in property assets including shopping centres, offices, commercial properties and retirement villages.