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In FY19 our retail sector formed strategic partnerships to generate 18 GWh of solar energy across 15 of our assets per annum. This is the equivalent of powering 1,200 homes, helping us to manage energy costs while reducing our emissions.
The cost of energy is a significant one for both Charter Hall and our tenant customers. To address this challenge in a way that provides long-term positive sustainable outcomes, we embarked on a program in 2014 to make our buildings more energy efficient.
We have installed LED lighting across all common mall and carparks within our large retail assets and will continue the roll-out with our smaller assets. We are also creating guidelines to help tenant customers design and build sustainable fit-outs.
In FY18, we installed our first solar array at Singleton Square in NSW, and in FY19 completed an investigation into implementing a renewable energy solution across our entire retail portfolio. Recognising that solar is not a core capability, we sought out industry experts and formed active partnerships aimed at delivering a good outcome for both our centres and our customers.
The result is an innovative approach to solar, whereby we have negotiated a solar power purchasing agreement (PPA) with two partners – Clean Peak Energy and Solgen Energy Group (in conjunction with Macquarie Group). Under the PPA, our partners arrange
for the design, regulatory approval, installation and ongoing operation and maintenance of solar energy systems on our centre rooftops.
The PPA has given us a high level of cost certainty in a volatile market. The learnings from the solar roll-out will also help our major tenant customers to expand their renewable energy programs across our portfolio.”
These partnerships are enabling the rapid deployment of best-in-breed solar energy systems at 15 of our shopping centres, along with battery storage at an initial four sites. The initiative to date has reduced our retail portfolio energy emissions by 25 percent and has also helped secure stable energy pricing for around 40 percent of each sites’ electricity demand over the next decade.
Tamworth Square was the first shopping centre to benefit from the solar roll-out. It is anticipated the remaining 14 installations will be completed by the end of calendar year 2019. Planning for Stage 2 of the rollout is underway for the balance of the retail portfolio, which we aim to complete by the end of FY20.
Taking a staged approach to our investment in renewables and energy storage has allowed us to take the technical lessons we have learned to effectively deliver on our broader sustainability program.