CEP.Energy and Narellan Town Centre sign rooftop power deal

L-R: Brad Page (General Manager, Dartwest Retail), Tony Perich (Director, Datwest Retail), Morris Iemma (Chair, CEP.Energy), Arnold Vitocco (Director, Dartwest Retail). Image: Bob Barker

Specialist Australian renewable energy fund, CEP.Energy today announced a ground-breaking 30-year renewable energy partnership with Australia’s largest privately-owned shopping centre, the Narellan Town Centre (NTC).

Under the agreement, CEP.Energy will invest up to $40 million to install, own and operate an embedded renewable energy network at NTC that will provide its retail tenants with the benefit of reliable, renewable energy which is produced onsite at a discount to grid energy.

Once fully developed the renewable rooftop powerplant will consist of an 50,000 square metre array of solar panels on the NTC rooftop, supported by local battery storage. The network will be developed in stages to a solar system size of 10MW and a 20MWh battery system.

NTC is jointly owned by Dart West Retail Pty Ltd – a partnership between the Vitocco and Perich families that began with the NTC’s opening in 1995. Following a major expansion that was completed in 2017, NTC boasts 76,000sqm of shopping, lifestyle and entertainment precincts containing over 220 speciality retail outlets, a cinema complex and 3000 car spaces. NTC has a 10-year plan to expand to 135,000 square metres.

CEP.Energy CEO Peter Wright said the 30-year lease agreement provided NTC’s owners and tenants with a total renewable energy solution.

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“We are delighted to be partnering with Australia’s largest privately-owned shopping centre in the country’s fastest growing area,” Mr Wright said.

“Embedded renewable energy networks offer long term benefits to landlords, tenants, investors and the community. NTC’s retail customers can expect to save about 20 per cent on their electricity bills.”

Mr Wright said CEP.Energy aimed to have 1.5 GW of solar and 1 GW of battery energy storage providing a steady flow of low-cost energy for commercial, retail and industrial tenants across the country within five years.

The agreement with NTC follows CEP.Energy’s foundation agreement with large scale commercial and industrial property owner Pelligra to lease roof space and build and operate solar panels. In turn, CEP.Energy will offer tenants, which are predominantly small to medium-sized businesses, reliable solar energy at a reduced cost.

CEP’s secured property portfolio comprises several hundred properties, including former manufacturing sites in Geelong and Campbellfield in Melbourne’s north, and another outside of Adelaide. The overall portfolio includes existing buildings totalling more than 10 million square metres.

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Chairman of CEP.Energy and former NSW Premier Morris Iemma hailed the NTC agreement, said he looked forward to this being the first of many projects with the Vitocco and Perich families.

“The Vitocco and Perich families are major landholders in the Badgery’s Creek/Aerotropolis Development Zone which is an area that will undergo significant growth in the years ahead,’’ Mr Iemma said.

“We look forward to working with them to provide a scalable renewable energy solution for future projects and their tenants,’’ Mr Iemma said.

Mr Iemma said CEP had identified Sydney’s south-west as a major business opportunity for the company.

“There will be large-scale industrial and commercial development in this area as work continues on Sydney’s second airport,’’ he said.

“CEP has the capacity and business model to deliver large scale renewable electricity supply to meet the growing demand for clean energy.’’