Growthpoint Properties today announced it has signed agreements with Solar Century Africa and Eskom to install a utility scale solar power plant on the rooftop of its Waterfall Mall in Rustenburg. The plant will generate 892 megawatt hours of electricity per annum.
Stephan Le Roux, Divisional Director of Growthpoint’s Retail Portfolio, says: “The Waterfall Mall solar power plant furthers Growthpoint’s commitment to sustainability by generating clean energy which will be used to power the mall.”
He adds: “Waterfall Mall shoppers will be proud to know that their mall is leading shopping centres in South Africa to harness one of the most treasured resources of the North West Province, its sunshine, to minimise its impact on the environment and generate clean energy that responds to South Africa’s electricity shortage.”
Essop Basha, Head of Utilities at Growthpoint Properties, explains the rooftop plant will generate power equivalent to the requirements of approximately 750 average sized homes, contributing towards an offset of 928 tons of carbon dioxide.
“Growthpoint has piloted alternative energy generation at three of our office properties, but this is our first ‘utility scale’ development and the first at a shopping mall,” says Basha. “It is some 13 times larger than the first rooftop solar plant Growthpoint tested.”
Basha explains that the project is in partnership Eskom’s Integrated Demand Management which subsidised 20% of the capital cost as part of its subsidy programme for Small Scale Renewables.
Andrew Etzinger, Senior General Manager and acting spokesperson for Eskom said he hopes to see similar projects from property owners across the country. He adds: “Growthpoint’s visible leadership in the energy efficiency and renewable energy arena is inspiring.”
Gareth Warner, Managing Director of Solar Century Africa believes that the Waterfall Mall installation sends a clear signal to the market that solar photo voltaic provides significant benefits to business, adding that Growthpoint will benefit from the reduction in carbon emission as well as a reduced cost of electricity at the mall.
Growthpoint has been the recipient of several awards for its efforts in sustainable business practices; including the SAPOA (South African Property Owners Association) Innovative Excellence Awards for Green Development; the 2013 Nedbank Capital Sustainable Business Award; as well as a Gold Certificate of Recognition for its Carbon Disclosure from the National Business Initiative.
Growthpoint is also shortlisted for the Innovation Award at the 2013 African Legal Awards for its ‘Green Lease’ that has been signed by most occupants in Growthpoint’s extensive portfolio of office buildings. This shared cost of saving achieved through green initiatives between building occupant and owner, will be used so even more resource-efficient operations can be achieved.
Growthpoint is the largest South African REIT and a JSE ALSI Top 40 Index company. Growthpoint owns and manages 393 properties in South Africa, 44 properties in Australia through its investment in GOZ and a 50% interest in the properties at V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. The value of Growthpoint’s consolidated tangible assets is over R60,0 billion.