Main image: Growthpoint’s Key West Shopping Centre in Krugersdorp.

Growthpoint Properties is going to great lengths to ensure its buildings and tenants’ businesses remain powered up during South Africa’s electricity crisis, resulting from Eskom’s more frequent and longer loadshedding outages.

Renewable energy generation

With 13,5MWp of installed renewable energy generation across 24 rooftop and carport solar plants and several MWp currently under construction, together with 332MW of generation potential from 330-plus backup generators, Growthpoint is helping at least 1 053 shops, 833 office tenants and 38 industrial tenants to continue operating through loadshedding, as a direct result of Growthpoint’s national energy management programme.

In addition, the nearly 1 000 tenants of the V&A Waterfront, which Growthpoint co-owns, all have full access to backup power from the precinct’s 48 generators.

Provision of generator backup

  • Growthpoint provides generator backup power to approximately 70% of its office portfolio.
  • It offers standby power for 1,2 million square metres of offices.
  • Much of this is provided by 223 generators and state-of-the-art technology to monitor diesel levels.
  • It has a supply chain of in-house capabilities and external providers to keep them fuelled and operating.
  • In the remaining 30% of office space, most tenants have their own power solutions (or buildings are in areas that do not experience major loadshedding).
  • At industrial properties, tenants use their own generators with Growthpoint providing backup power across three industrial parks in its portfolio (this accommodates multiple tenants in 84 153m²).
  • Nine of Growthpoint’s malls have 100% backup power generation, with the tenth currently being added.
  • The complexity of the electrical reticulation at shopping centres often doesn’t allow a single source of backup power across an entire mall in which Growthpoint provides standby power.
  • Larger retailers often have their own systems, and smaller tenants are encouraged to use their own battery-powered uninterrupted power supply (UPS).

All comes at a cost

This helps to supply power to thousands of businesses, but it has a significant capital outlay, a substantial monthly diesel bill and the toll that fossil fuels have on the environment.

Growthpoint spent just over R47 million on diesel to power all its buildings in the six months from July to December 2022.

A big concern is the environmental impact of loadshedding, which is forcing businesses to burn diesel at unprecedented rates. As with other businesses, this weighs on Growthpoint’s strategy to be carbon neutral by 2050 and counteracts its environmental goals.

Growthpoint’s Greenfield Industrial Park, Airport Industria, Cape Town.

Programme of green energy

Growthpoint launched an innovative programme of green building and green energy well over a decade ago. To replace electricity generated by fossil fuels with renewable energy in its portfolio, Growthpoint has already invested in 13,5MWp of solar generation capacity and plans to double this by June 2023.

With 13,9MWp of solar projects in various phases of construction, Growthpoint is on track to achieve its target of 27,4MWp of installed solar by its year-end on 30 June 2023. By adding potential solar projects to this list on an ongoing basis, Growthpoint is helping to chart the way forward for renewable energy in commercial real estate in South Africa and its tenants.

Full acknowledgement and thanks go to https:/// for the information in this editorial.

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