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Solar projects on two Gauteng shopping centre rooftops

31 Mar 2016

With seven solar farms successfully generating renewable energy at its buildings across South Africa, Growthpoint Properties is now embarking on its largest rooftop solar installations yet. 

The solar panel installation at Growthpoint’s Airport Industria property near the Cape Town International Airport.

Growthpoint, the largest South African primary listed REIT (real estate investment trust), is undertaking two large solar installations on the rooftops of its Northgate Mall and Brooklyn Mall in Johannesburg and Pretoria, respectively. Each with a capacity of nearly 1.2MWp. 

Werner van Antwerpen, Head of Sustainability Growthpoint Properties, says Growthpoint has already passed the halfway mark in achieving its goal to install rooftop solar farms capable of generating an impressive 6MWp - or, in other words, enough solar energy to power nearly 2 500 average South African homes. 

Harnessing energy from the abundant South African sunshine, Growthpoint has already completed the installation of photovoltaic solar panels with the capacity to generate over 3.2MWp at seven of its office, retail and industrial properties. 

These solar farms are at its landmark assets across the country, including Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, The Constantia Village, Bayside Mall and Airport Industria. Its InfoTech building in Pretoria, Waterfall Mall in Rustenburg and Lincoln on the Lake office building in Umhlanga also benefit from solar power generating installations. 

Growthpoint has a further four projects underway, expected to generate some 2.7MWp of renewable energy. Besides its Northgate and Brooklyn Mall installations, it is also establishing solar farms at Kolonnade Shopping Centre in Pretoria and its office property at 33 Bree and De Waterkant in Cape Town. 

And this is only the beginning for Growthpoint. It has identified over 70 buildings across its portfolio for possible future solar PV installations. 

Commenting on Growthpoint’s rooftop solar farms, Rudolf Pienaar, Growthpoint Divisional Director: Office Sector, says: “Our solar farms are one way Growthpoint is creating a more sustainable built environment for South Africa. It also delivers on our ambitious commitment to sustainability, energy efficiency and green building, made on Buildings Day at COP21 in Paris last December.” 

Pienaar adds that Growthpoint is committed to increasing solar energy generation, making all their 185 office buildings energy and water efficient, and ensuring all long-term office investments and new developments are certified green buildings. 

Growthpoint has established itself as a leader in green buildings. A Platinum Founding Member of the Green Building Council South Africa’s (GBCSA), Growthpoint owns or co-owns the largest portfolio of certified green buildings of any company in South Africa. Growthpoint is a FTSE/JSE Socially Responsible Investment Index company and an index component of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). 

For some time now it has been Growthpoint’s goal to only develop office buildings that will achieve at least a 4-Star Green Star SA rating from the GBCSA. Now it has broadened its focus to include green performance of all office buildings in its significant portfolio. 

Growthpoint has committed that, by 2020, all its office investments will be above the GBCSA Energy and Water Performance Rating Tool benchmark. It has also set a goal for all long-term office investments to achieve at least a 4-Star Green Star SA GBCSA Existing Building Performance certification. 

This commitment to a more sustainable built environment goes well beyond nurturing a portfolio of green buildings. “We want to create buildings and workplaces that support the health, happiness and well-being of the people who use them – places for people and businesses to thrive,” says Pienaar. 

Growthpoint owns and manages a diversified portfolio of 474 properties in South Africa, 57 properties in Australia through its investment in GOZ and a 50% interest in the properties at V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. Growthpoint’s consolidated property assets are valued at over R110 billion.

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