Shellharbour’s redeveloped shopping centre will have 7000 sq m of solar panels

By Tina Perinotto

21 October 2010 – Stockland will take a major leap into creating more sustainable shopping centres with its announcement on Thursday this week that the redevelopment of its Shellharbour shopping centre on the NSW south coast is to be fitted with a  7000 square metre solar array, the largest so far in Australian shopping centres.

The move could signal the start of a new front in the battle to seriously challenge the energy-guzzling profile of the retail sector in much the same way that the profile of the premium commercial sector has been changed.

According to industry sources, GPT’s Charlestown shopping centre in Newcastle NSW will also soon announce a major solar advance as part of its expansion.  Not much has released so far but according to the NSW Climate Change Fund Annual Report 20009-09 GPT was awarded funding to work with the CSIRO, Bovis Lend Lease and New Energy Partners to produce the “first solar thermal cooling technology to aircondition the centre using parabolic collectors on the roof.”

According to Stockland the sustainable makeover of Shellharbour will be part of a $330 million redevelopment that will include a Myer department store, two discount department stores, two supermarkets, 220 speciality stores and more than 3000 car parking spaces, which will “almost double the size of the centre to a 75,000 square metres major regional shopping centre.”

The centre will aim for a Green Star shopping centre Design and As Built rating, the first for the Illawarra region.

The photovoltaic panels will be supplemented by a tri-generation energy system, to provide energy for 70 per cent of the new common area of the development.

Stockland commercial property chief executive officer, John Schroder, said the new centre would redefine shopping for the people of Shellharbour and capitalise on strong population growth in the area.

It would also  “lead the way for sustainable shopping centre development with the inclusion of the largest retail solar energy application in the country,” Mr Schroder said.

The move was part of Stockland “3-R strategy” – for Residential Communities, Retirement Living and Retail development, and forms part of Stockland’s $2.5 billion national retail development pipeline, a Stockland media statement said.

“On completion in FY14, Stockland Shellharbour will serve a trade area population of around 210,000 people and is expected to deliver a fully leased year one cash yield on cost of 7.6 per cent and an ungeared incremental IRR of over 13 per cent.”