Solar to power centre

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
J4 Dunsbrough Centerpiont
Camera IconJ4 Dunsbrough Centerpiont

Dunsborough Centrepoint shopping complex will soon be powered by solar energy from its carpark, with an innovative project starting on April 29.

The project will see a canopy, fitted with solar panels built above the carpark.

The major installation will cost Dunsborough’s most popular retail provider around $1 million and is estimated to take four weeks to complete.

The solar canopy will cover about 35 per cent of the car-park.

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Dunsborough Centrepoint manager John Reid said the panels would also be placed on the roof of the building.

“We want to peg our growing electricity bills, and after the seven year buyback period ,we hope to pass those savings on to our tenants,” he said. “It’s the single biggest solar installation in Dunsborough and it’s not cheap, but we’re hoping it will have long-term benefits.”

The 440kW system will be equipped to cap current electricity prices.

However, no solar storage lithium batteries will be invested in at this stage.

“The long-term investment is an example to businesses that you can invest in the environment by handling the capital by monitoring what you are capable of producing,” Mr Reid said.

“We will be transparent with how things are tracking and are happy to provide advice to other existing businesses contemplating an investment in solar.”

Plico Energy business and project development manager Emma Morgan commended Dunsborough Centrepoint for investing in renewable energy but warned tenants might “foot the bill”.

“We have approached Centrepoint about individual stores investing in the Plico project, which they refused, and produced their own planning suggestions which were approved by the City of Busselton,” she said.

“Our plan would have each tenant having their own battery and managing what they paid for their own electricity.

“Technically, Centrepoint management will be the energy retailer for their tenants but as long as they make a firm commitment to pass on the savings and how the energy will be split then it’s a positive move when businesses invest in renewable energy.”

City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley said the City applauded any moves to reduce energy consumption and impact on the environment.

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