JSE-listed Redefine Properties’ total installed photovoltaic (PV) fleet will produce about 35.75-million kilowatt-hours a year of solar power when fully operational.
This forms part of the diversified real estate investment trust company’s strategy on solar energy to deliver cost efficiencies across the business and improve performance on key sustainability metrics.
“This equates to an indicative saving of 32 819 t of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e), which is roughly equal to 12-million litres of diesel combusted. If offset against Redefine’s total scope, two carbon emissions of 46 761 t of CO2e in 2017, it is a 70% reduction, assuming a like-for-like portfolio of properties,” the company noted on Thursday.
Last year, Redefine started implementing a series of rooftop solar PV projects. Its total installed capacity is expected to grow to 22 MW once the power plants come on stream over the next 18 months, compared with the current installed capacity of 7.8 MW.
To date, 4.2 MW of additional capacity has already come on stream, delivering about 6.37-million kilowatt-hours a year.
As solar energy currently represents the cheapest and most sustainable way to generate renewable electricity, Redefine utility head Ilse Swanepoel stated that, besides producing no emissions and being silent, the panels shield large amounts of roof space from direct sun, leaving it cooler and further lowering energy consumption.
In addition, she noted that technologies to further sustainable smart microgrids, such as efficient and cost-effective energy storage solutions, are well within the company’s sights to further enhance the benefits of its solar PV plants.
“Solar is no longer niche and is a well-entrenched renewable-energy source underpinning the achievement of green building goals. Demand has grown in recent years, with many large blue-chip tenants prioritising their own sustainability efforts, expecting the developer to dovetail and help achieve their objectives,” Swanepoel added.
The total cost savings achieved from existing plants and plants commissioned during the course of the year will be over R32-million a year.
She further noted that renewable energy is a major point in the company’s journey, as well as bringing financial returns that accrue from these efforts, it is clean economy on the roof.
Besides tenants, Redefine’s strategic intent is to make its properties attractive for both its tenants’ shoppers and employees by locating new projects in close proximity to public transport, directly reducing the impact on the environment.
Some of the key assets where Redefine has already installed rooftop solar PV plants include Langeberg Mall, in Mossel Bay; Boulders Shopping Centre, in Midrand; Centurion Lifestyle Centre, in Centurion; Stoneridge Centre, in Edenvale; East Rand Mall, in Boksburg; Matlosana Mall, in Klerksdorp; and Moreleta Plaza and Wonderboom Junction, in Pretoria.