CleanCo strikes renewables deal with Scentre Group

Queensland’s publicly-owned energy generator and retailer CleanCo has inked a long-term deal to supply shopping centre major Scentre Group with 100% renewable electricity for its Westfield centres across the state from 2025.

Scentre Group, which owns 42 Westfield shopping centres in Australia and New Zealand, has signed a renewable energy power purchase agreement (PPA) with CleanCo as it looks to cut emissions from its electricity use by 50% by 2025.

Renewable electricity will be sourced from a series of assets including the 460 MW Western Downs Green Power Hub[2] being developed by French renewables giant Neoen on Queensland’s Darling Downs. CleanCo already has an agreement in place for 320 MW of its capacity. The 157 MW Kaban Green Power Hub being developed by Neoen in north Queensland will also play a part as will the 180 MW Dulacca Wind Farm. CleanCo has PPAs in place for both projects.

Scentre chief financial officer and chief executive officer-elect Elliott Rusanow said the agreement is consistent with the group’s plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2030.

“We consider responsible, sustainable business a key part of our strategy and ambition to grow,” he said. “We have a strong track record on sustainability, having already reduced our emissions by 30% since Scentre Group was established in 2014. This agreement will help us deliver our interim emission reduction target of 50% by 2025.”

Rusanow said renewable electricity PPAs is one of the ways the group will deliver on its net zero target alongside optimising asset efficiency and the generation of onsite renewable energy.

Scentre Group CEO-elect Tom Metcalfe, centre, with CleanCo chair Jacqui Walters and CEO Elliott Rusanow.

Image: Scentre Group

The group has already rolled out solar across five of its Westfield sites, including a 2.3 MW install atop the Coomera centre in Queensland, and a 1.6 MW rooftop system at Katora in New South Wales and a 1 MW system at Carousel in Western Australia. The company said collectively, the installations generated 7,931 MWh of clean electricity last year and there is more to come.

The group is planning to deploy additional solar at another two Victorian sites this year which will generate an additional 6,200 MWh per annum, increasing the group’s total portfolio solar generation capacity by more than 75%.

“We will continue to evaluate and roll out onsite solar opportunities as well as continue to assess off-site renewable energy procurement opportunities,” the company said.

The signing of the PPA with Scentre follows a similarly large deal[3] struck by CleanCo in March with Australian retail giant Wesfarmers, to provide renewable energy to Kmart, Target, Bunnings and Officeworks.

CleanCo chief executive officer Tom Metcalfe said the government-owned generator was proud to be supporting businesses to achieve their net zero aspirations.

“This deal is another example of how businesses are leading the way to help the state reach net zero, and how CleanCo is supporting businesses meet their own targets,” he said.

“Agreements like this one with Scentre Group underpin our own target of bringing 1,400 MW of new renewable energy into the market by 2025, while supporting the Queensland government’s 50% renewable energy by 2030 target.”

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