Solar Program

Solar Program Updates

13 December 2019

We’re pleased to provide an update on the completion of the solar shaded car park project at the centre.

Construction has been completed and features over 430 new shaded spaces with a solar capacity of 1 megawatt (MW), which is in addition to the existing 1.3MW installed on the centre’s roof space.

Our solar shaded parking provides a new level in customer comfort through protection from the elements, especially in the hotter summer months and during wet weather.

Nearly 3,000 solar PV panels have been laid across the centre car park, ensuing customers can benefit from these improved facilities when they visit.

Learn about our Solar Program

While providing a better customer experience is a fantastic outcome, we’re also delighted that our solar shaded car park will also be generating a significant volume of additional clean, renewable energy for the centre to use. Expected annual generation from the completed roof and car park solar system is more than 3,300MWh, which is enough clean energy to power over 600 average South Australian homes for a year.

Vicinity’s Chief Strategy Officer Justin Mills, said: “It’s an incredible milestone for our team, and for our customers and retailers who have been patiently watching this project come to life.

“We hope our customers and community will embrace the undercover parking which we now offer at Castle Plaza.

Our solar program is a significant part of Vicinity’s large-scale $73m investment in solar and renewable energy initiatives across the national portfolio. A growing number of Vicinity Centres are now able to utilise clean, renewable energy to help power centres, reduce reliance on the national grid and increase local energy resilience. The introduction of large scale solar also makes a positive contribution to the businesses’ target of Net Zero carbon emissions by 2030 in 100% Vicinity owned centres.**

Castle Plaza Centre Manager, Rebecca McDonald added: “Our new solar shaded parking offers a great point of difference for Castle Plaza. It supports our customers with improved facilities and our tenants by making the centre an even more attractive shopping destination. And combined with our storage battery, its makes Castle Plaza one of Australian retail’s most advanced renewable energy locations.”

The centre is also home to Australian retail property’s first storage battery. The Sungrow Samsung 548kWh battery can store and release solar energy when the centre needs it. This is a great way to better manage our energy and further reduce our impact on the grid, especially in peak periods.

Learn about our Solar Program

Vicinity’s industry-leading national solar program also includes several innovation firsts for the Australian retail property sector, including Australia’s first retail battery, energy block chain trial, bifacial solar panel and solar glass trials. Combined with our industry-leading solar rollout, these initiatives will help deliver intelligent energy destinations across Vicinity’s national portfolio.

30 September 2019

We’re pleased to provide a further update on the construction of our solar shaded car parking.

Works have now resumed at the centre and the project is due to be completed in time for summer 2019/20.

This final stage of construction will be carefully managed to minimise disruption and maximize efficiency, including a staged approach to delivery that will ensure as many bays as possible remain available to our visitors. We have also scheduled a series of night time works in the South Road side car park to further minimise the impact of construction during trading hours.

We will provide a further progress update in the coming weeks and hope everyone joins us in our excitement at creating a more sustainable, intelligent energy destination at Castle Plaza.

19 March 2019

We are pleased to provide an update on the solar installation at Castle Plaza.

Works have been completed on our 1.1 megawatts (MW) capacity rooftop solar system, which is already generating clean, renewable energy and we are now focused on completing the solar shaded car parking.

We have recently experienced some unexpected delays with the car park works. Additionally, some elements of the project have been completed off-site, so work could be paused to accommodate the busy festive period.

Work has now recommenced on the car park solar installation and we look forward to its completion in the near future.

When completed, our 2.4 megawatts (MW) total capacity solar system will provide numerous benefits to customers and centre retailers, including a new source of clean, renewable energy, comfortable solar shaded car parking and a positive environmental impact.

We will continue to share updates as we work towards project completion and wish to thank all our customers, retailers and community members for your continued patience and co-operation as we create an intelligent energy destination of the future at Castle Plaza.

02 October 2018

Our $75 million solar program has reached another important milestone.

Last week our Sungrow Samsung SDI battery arrived on-site at Castle Plaza.

It’s the largest battery being used at an Australian shopping centre and will help us power our centre, once connected to the local energy network.

It’s an exciting trial and we can’t wait to share the results of our industry-leading program.

26 September 2018

Castle plaza is leading the way with renewable energy in South Australia… And today we announced a trial of energy blockchain technology.

The program will help us manage our energy use in real-time, switching between solar, battery and the national grid to power Castle Plaza.

The future of energy is changing and we hope one day we’ll be able to supply solar energy to our neighbours who connect to new secure blockchain network.

13 July 2018

You’ve probably noticed some of the activity around Castle Plaza as our solar program is rolled out as part of an Australian shopping centre first.

This week, our focus moves to the car park as construction begins to install the structures that will provide a new undercover parking experience, and house the solar panels on top.

We know there will be some inconvenience during the construction phase and we appreciate your patience while we create 491 solar covered car park bays at Castle Plaza.

Latest Updates

We’re getting solar ready at Castle Plaza with the first solar panel installed this week as part of phase one of the Vicinity Solar Program. The project is significant for South Australia, as on completion, Castle Plaza will be Australia’s largest shopping centre microgrid featuring solar roof, solar carpark shade sails, electric vehicle charging and large scale commercial battery. Castle Plaza’s Centre Manager Jessica Zammit and Operations Manager David Jones, were on the roof inspecting the handy of our solar delivery partner Beon Energy Solutions.

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Australia’s largest investment in solar for shopping centres

Vicinity Centres has revealed Australia’s largest ever investment in shopping centre solar with $28 million towards solar installations at five centres across South Australia (SA) and Western Australia (WA).

Vicinity Centres CEO and Managing Director Grant Kelley was joined by the Premier of SA, The Hon Steven Marshall for the announcement at Elizabeth City Centre on 30 April, 2018.

The entire project, at 11.2 megawatts (MW), will see approximately 39,000 individual solar panels installed and will generate upwards of 17.4 gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy each year - equivalent to powering Adelaide Oval light towers for 3.5 years.

Mr Kelley said the project reflected Vicinity’s focus on embedding innovation across operations including the latest energy storage technology with the installation of a 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) battery at Castle Plaza in SA.

“The energy generated by the solar and battery systems will be used on-site, reducing reliance on the grid and helping give our retailers and our business a buffer from a volatile energy market,” Mr Kelley said.

The project, which is underway, will create at least 150 highly skilled, local jobs across the five shopping centres during the construction period, with 110 in SA and 40 in WA.

“We are proud to be creating jobs across South Australia and Western Australia and investing in these important states in our shopping centre portfolio.”

"The environmental benefits of the installations are equivalent to removing more than 9,500 cars from our roads and will create enough power to supply more than 3,000 average homes for a year.

Read the full media release here.