Queensland’s state-owned energy company CleanCo will supply Scentre Group with electricity from 100 per cent renewable sources for its Westfield Living Centres across the state from 2025.
The power primarily be sourced through CleanCo’s power purchase agreements with the Western Downs Green Power Hub, Kaban Green Power Hub, and the Dulacca Wind Farm.
The announcement with the retail property giant follows a similarly large deal struck by CleanCo with Wesfarmers in March, which will see it provide renewable energy to Kmart, Target, Bunnings and Officeworks across the state.
National Retail Association chief executive Dominique Lamb said the overwhelming majority of small business owners would like to be able to power their businesses with renewables. But if they are in a large shopping centre, they often have no choice.
“Scentre Group and CleanCo have demonstrated to shopping centres that it can be done, and we expect others will follow in order to attract those businesses and shoppers who want to do something positive for the environment,” she said.
Queensland wants to grow renewables like bananas
Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni, said the deal was a major step forward towards the Palaszczuk government’s target of 50 per cent renewable energy generation by 2030.
For context, 65.7 per cent of the energy generated in South Australia during 2021 came from renewables, and the state closed down its last coal power plant in 2016.
“CleanCo is getting on with the job of connecting businesses in Queensland to clean, reliable energy from Queensland renewables and helping decarbonise our economy.”
“Combined, these projects support more than 850 jobs, many in regional areas. So, every time a person visits a Westfield centre, they can know they’re doing their part to help Queensland reach net zero, while also supporting economic growth in the state,” Mr de Brenni said.
CleanCo chief executive Tom Metcalfe said his company aimed to bring 1400MW of new renewable energy into the market by 2025.
Scentre is going green
The renewable purchasing agreement is the second of its type that Scentre has completed, having switched its New Zealand centres to 100 per cent renewable power in January 2022.
Scentre Group chief executive-elect Elliott Rusanow said sustainability was a key part of the company’s strategy and growth, with the group having already reduced its emissions by 30 per cent since 2014.
“The agreement with CleanCo will enable us to deliver our 50 per cent emission reduction target by 2025 and is part of our plan to get to net zero by 2030.”
The company is also investing in on-site renewables. Last year, it generated 7931 MWh from its solar installations at Westfield Carousel, Coomera, Kotara, Marion and Plenty Valley.
It plans to increase this total by 75 per cent by installing an additional 6200 MWh of new solar arrays as part of the redevelopment of its Westfield Knox and Westfield Fountain Gate centres in Victoria.
The retail property firm is also developing an integrated environmental strategy for managing waste, water, and energy efficiency. Initiatives include installing LED lighting and improving its building management system.
“This includes better understanding how the Group can support its business partners in achieving their own environmental targets,” Mr Rusanow said.
“As an example, we have worked with Country Road Group and MJ Bale to provide them 100 per cent renewable electricity, which has enabled them to move all their stores within our Westfield Living Centre portfolio to a renewable product.”