Liberty to build a R12 million solar installation on top of one of its malls – with more set to come

Liberty Two Degrees and Liberty Group Limited have announced their first solar photovoltaic installation at Pietermaritzburg’s Liberty Midlands Mall.

According to Liberty, the installation is expected to cost approximately R12 million, and will be situated on the on the roof of the recently launched 22,00 square meters phase 3 extension of the mall.

The solar plant will be a grid tied, roof mounted PV installation made out of premium Mono Crystalline technology comprising 2,900 panels which will supply approximately 1 MW of energy to the mall and is designed and manufactured to last a minimum 25-year lifespan.

The installation is set to begin in September 2018, with completion scheduled for the first quarter of 2019. The mall’s expansion will operate mainly on solar energy and be off the grid for most daylight hours.

This follows a number of similar solar-focused initiatives by developers in South Africa, with property fund Emira completing the installation of a R16 million solar farm on the roof of its Randridge Mall at the end of 2017.

“Reducing carbon footprints across our retail portfolio is a priority for L2D,” said Brian Unsted, L2D asset management executive for Liberty Midlands Mall.

“The solar PV project for Liberty Midlands Mall will serve as the first initiative of its kind in our portfolio and will act as a benchmark for future solar plant project roll-outs. Liberty Midlands Mall’s PV plant aligns with L2D’s strategy of investing in renewable energy for improved efficiency and the management of natural resources for the benefit of the environment.”

He added that the PV installation will be the largest commercial solar plant in the retail industry in Pietermaritzburg.

“We have put in place an effective framework to continually improve our environmental impact, an initiative that remains integral to our commitment to improve our operations,” said Unsted.

Read: Solar surpasses gas and wind as biggest source of new power in the US

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Liberty to build a R12 million solar installation on top of one of its malls – with more set to come