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Kiwi Property to become NZ’s largest solar user

Kiwi Property has bolstered its commitment to renewable energy, signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Meridian Energy, with a view to rolling out New Zealand’s largest combined solar installation across at least four Kiwi Property shopping malls.

Under the agreement, Meridian will invest in the upfront system cost and then charge Kiwi Property for the solar power generated under an innovative Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) solution. Ownership of the array will pass to Kiwi Property at the end of the PPA term, which is anticipated to be the mid-point of the system’s lifecycle.

The installation programme, a first for New Zealand, is expected to deliver capacity in excess of 650kW, resulting in Kiwi Property being the country’s largest commercial consumer of solar power. Once the programme is complete it is expected that Kiwi Property’s combined solar power capacity, including their existing 350kW Sylvia Park system, will exceed 1MW.

Kiwi Property Chief Executive, Chris Gudgeon, said: “Kiwi Property has spent the past 15 years seeking better ways to do business, creating portfolio efficiencies while reducing resource consumption, waste to landfill and our carbon footprint. The Meridian Energy proposition means we can expand the electricity sourced from solar without upfront capital costs or performance risk.”

“The Meridian initiative will allow us to take advantage of on-site renewable power at grid-competitive prices, while also lowering our carbon footprint and directly contributing to the growth of renewables in New Zealand,” said Mr Gudgeon.

Meridian Chief Executive, Mark Binns, said the Meridian programme with Kiwi Property would encourage the development of further commercial solar projects, which were often hindered by upfront capital costs, performance risks and support requirements.

“Meridian is wanting to help businesses further benefit from renewable energy and had identified segments of the commercial sector where the usage profile meant it made sense for customers and ourselves to work together on a solution. We have really concentrated on working with customers where a ‘win-win’ outcome is possible,” said Mr Binns.

“Kiwi Property is New Zealand’s largest listed diversified property company, and has demonstrated their commitment to sustainability through their Sylvia Park solar system and make a strong partner for this project. Our commercial solar package is an opportunity for Meridian to grow our business in a world of falling distributed energy costs and direct corporate investment in renewable energy which is an evolving global trend.”

Kiwi Property’s Sylvia Park array, which was switched on in January 2015, has a capacity of 350kW and produces 17% of Sylvia Park’s base building energy requirements annually. It is second in size only to Yealands Estate Winery in Blenheim, which has a 411kW capacity.

The Kiwi Property shopping centres identified for the Meridian initiative comprise Auckland’s LynnMall, Hamilton’s The Base, Palmerston North’s The Plaza and Christchurch’s Northlands.

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