Aussie solar shopping centres getting CEFC investment


The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) will invest $200 million into QIC’s Global Real Estate flagship Shopping Centre Fund to undertake improvements in energy performance across its shopping centre portfolio. This could lead to more solar shopping centres.

This is the CEFC’s largest property investment commitment to date. It will support improvements in solar shopping centres across Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT. Especially relevant environmental initiatives identified include:

  • onsite rooftop solar PV
  • LED lighting
  • heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system upgrades
  • sub-metering and energy data monitoring systems to provide data to optimise energy management processes

Shopping centres consume 36% of commercial energy

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said Australian shopping centres account for 36 per cent of commercial building energy consumption. This is also a relatively untapped opportunity for energy transformation, he added.

Solar shopping centres improve energy performance
Shopping centres use 36 per cent of Australia’s commercial use energy.

With more than 1,750 shopping centres in Australia, enormous potential exists for improvement, Mr Learmonth said.

“Shopping centres have substantial energy needs with large, enclosed malls and retail areas necessitating ‘year-round’ heating and air-conditioning supply.

“There is a range of environmental initiatives that can be implemented to deliver energy efficiencies in shopping centre operations.”

The aim is to use energy sources like solar to lead Australia towards net zero carbon buildings.

QIC’s retail footprint encompasses over one million square metres of floor space. Each year it accommodates more than 130 million visitors. This generates more than $5 billion in retail transactions as a result.

Solar shopping centres result of energy efficiency initiatives

CEFC Property sector lead Chris Wade said due to the finance, QIC is bringing forward energy efficiency initiatives.

“A series of energy efficiency and clean energy initiatives will be rolled out across the portfolio in the short and medium term,” he advised.

The shopping centres involved are of different ages and also at different levels of sustainability. QIC is targeting a minimum 4-star NABERS rating for all assets in its portfolio. It also aims to achieve this within five years, translating to energy savings of between 30 and 40 per cent.

In addition to existing assets, QIC will seek to design its new developments to a 5-Star NABERS Energy rating. This takes advantage of the latest energy efficiency and clean energy technologies to drive better performance.

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