A purpose-built suburb on the Sunshine Coast has welcomed the opening of a new shopping precinct that includes full solar power and other green initiatives.
Stockland Aura is a master-planned community located at Caloundra West on the southern
end of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
Baringa is the first suburb of this project and the Stockland Baringa Shopping Centre was
opened in August as part of a $33 million town centre development.
The shopping complex comes with a $640,000 380kW solar power system, as well as other
green initiatives like rainwater harvesting, energy-efficient lighting, HVAC monitoring and
management systems and solar-reflective roofing.
The suite features 900 panels covering a roof space of 1800m2 and is expected to generate
around 530,000kWh of renewable energy annually – enough to power 45 homes.
It is hoped these additions will deliver a Green Building Council Australia five-star rating.
The larger picture
The installation of these panels is part of a Stockland initiative to roll out 39,000 of them
across shopping centres in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales. The total cost is
expected to sit at $23.5 million.
During the 2018/19 financial year, Stockland reported that it had installed 12.1MW of solar
PV capacity across 10 shopping precincts and two logistics centres.
The centre includes an IGA supermarket and 13 speciality stores – including The Barber
Shed, Spirit Pilates, Jetts Fitness, Avenue Dental, SG Bakery, Hikaru Sushi and cafés Grind
Coffee Bar and Mr Z @ Aura.
There is also a tavern, swim school, over 300 car spaces and scope for more commercial
entries with – Cellarbrations, Aura Property, Kindred Property, TSG and Golden Casket to
open in the near future. It’s reported a proposed medical precinct is also on the cards.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Fisher MP Andrew Wallace, Sunshine Coast
Mayor Mark Jamieson and Sunshine Coast councillor Rick Baberowski were all present for
The move follows a major $28 million investment by Vicinity Centres (Vicinity) to install large solar panel arrays at five major shopping centres across South Australia and Western
That is part of a $73 million solar investment program to install solar panels on commercial
buildings across six states. That includes the Warwick Grove Shopping Centre in Western
Australian which has converted its glass atrium entrance into a fully transparent solar power plant. The glass panels have been replaced by 26 solar cells which one megawatt-hour of power annually. It was the first commercial-sized application of transparent solar cells in the world.
Other major Australian shopping centres to go solar include:
● Castle Plaza at Edwardstown in South Australia, which has a 2244kW system and
500 kWh battery backup – the largest battery system in Australia at a shopping
● The Elizabeth City Centre in South Australia which has Australia’s largest
commercial solar installation at a single site, with a 5849kW system.
● Ellenbrook, Western Australia (2939kW)
● Kurralta Park, South Australis (100kW)
● Currambine, Western Australia (100 kW)
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