Australia’s notoriously slow C&I segment gains momentum with shopping centre leadership


Australian shopping centres are increasingly moving towards solar, with a spate of activity in the sector recently. Most notably, CEP.Energy have entered into an Engineering, Procurement and Construction arrangement with RACV Solar, the renewable energy arm of the roadside assistance club, to install a 2.62 MW solar installation and 10 MWh battery storage system worth $40 million at Narellan Town Centre mall in southwest Sydney.

Meanwhile, Vicinity Shopping Centres has managed to push its 2021 NABERS Sustainable Portfolios Index to 4.4 stars, up from 3.9 in 2019, across Australia’s largest rated retail portfolio. Its improved rating is largely thanks to its solar program that helped deliver 6 Star ratings in six of its centres in Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia. In December, Vicinity also announced it would install 1.6 MW of solar panels to shade the carpark of its mega Chadstone complex in Victoria.

Vicinity Centres’ Chadstone Shopping Centre solar shaded carpark

Vicinity Centre

The state also recently became home to the certifiably most sustainable shopping centre in the world, Melbourne’s Burwood Brickworks which is part of Frasers Property’s portfolio. Burwood Brickwood extends the metrics of sustainability far beyond simply solar power and water efficiency, targeting the world’s most comprehensive list of criteria which rates everything from the toxicity and sources of construction materials to aesthetic beauty and happiness.

CEP.Energy & RACV Solar installation at Narellan Town Centre

Australia’s largest privately-owned shopping centre, Narellan Town Centre in Sydney’s southwest, is undergoing a $40 million solar transformation, part of which will see partners CEP.Energy and RACV Solar deliver a 2.62 MW solar installation and 10MWh battery storage system, essentially creating a microgrid.

The installation is the RACV’s largest to date, with the project’s battery size is equivalent to 740 Tesla Home Batteries.

The system will not just target electricity cost reductions for landlords and tenants of the centre, but also aims to offer market services to support the grid.

At 1.2 GW, CEP.Energy’s Hunter Big Battery is the biggest proposed battery in the world.

Image: CEP.Energy

Dart West Retail, owners of Narellan Town Centre, have entered into a 30 year agreement with CEP.Energy, which in February announced its intention to build Australia the world’s largest grid-scale battery in New South Wales – a 1.2 GW megabattery at Kurri Kurri in the Hunter Valley.

The massive plan came as a bit of a shock, especially since the company, which is chaired by former New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma, really only emerged last year. CEP.Energy has come in hot to say the least, declaring it wants to install gigawatts of solar and battery storage around Australia by 2025.

Burwood Brickworks is a Frasers Property Shopping Centre.

Frasers Property

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