Vicinity Centres plans to reach its net zero target through its $73 million solar program as well as energy efficiency measures.

Vicinity Centres is pouring an extra $50 million into phase two of its rooftop solar program, which according the retail property management company will make it Australia’s largest-ever property solar program.

Solar PV will be installed on an additional 17 Vicinity shopping centres in Victoria, Queensland, new South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia, generating 31,000 MWh of clean energy each year.

The additional funding marks phase two of the company’s rooftop solar project, which started with $28 million to install 11.2 megawatts of solar PV across five shopping centre assets in South Australia and Western Australia.

The company has committed a total of $75 million to its rooftop solar project so far.

Vicinity Centres executive general manager shopping centre management, Justin Mill, said that program will cut the company’s reliance on the electricity grid by as much as 40 per cent.

“This investment will generate clean power for our centres for the long term, make a positive environmental impact and deliver shared value for our customers, retailers and investors,” Mr Mills said.

Vicinity Centres is not the only company taking advantage of the ample rooftop space atop its shopping centre assets. Some of Australia’s largest retail shopping centre owners are going solar, with companies such as Mirvac, ISPT, Stockland and SCA owners installing rooftop solar.

Last year, SCA Property Group committed to a major solar PV roll-out with ReNu Energy to install $4.33 million of onsite behind-the-meter solar at four of its 74 regional shopping centres.

Also last year, Stockland announced a $23.5 million national investment in a property solar project. The latest updateon the project involved the installation of 17,000 solar panels on the rooftops of five Stockland shopping centres in NSW.

Australia’s appetite for rooftop solar continues to increase, with rooftop solar installations jumping almost 60 per cent this year to smash the previous record set in 2017.

According to the latest Green Energy Market report released back in May, there’s been a 56 per cent jump in the rate of rooftop solar capacity installations compared to last year (which itself was a record).