Gateway Theatre of Shopping, one of the largest shopping centres in the southern Hemisphere, is an iconic gathering point in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. The retail hub recently added to their credentials by activating a large solar PV system consisting of 3500 solar panels.
As a bustling mall in the heart of Durban, Gateway Theatre of Shopping uses over 57 million kWh of electricity per year. The new solar system, which is 1.15 MW in size, will produce 1.5 million kWh of electricity per year, saving the centre over R1.5 million in electricity and demand costs. In addition, the solar PV system will save the centre at least 1350 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.
“It was a privilege to carry out the design and construction on the iconic centre,” says Dom Wills, CEO of SOLA Future Energy, who carried out the project over 12 weeks with green energy partner Pele Green Energy. “As more and more shopping centres tap into the value of solar PV, we are seeing the sector flourish despite the difficult economic environment nationally,” he added.
With ample roof space and large daily energy usage, shopping centres are the perfect beneficiaries of solar power, which is now cheaper than most national tariffs supplied by Eskom or local municipalities. However, in addition to optimising costs, retail centres are also leading the trend in terms of carbon emission reduction.
As the South African government moves to firm up its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as part of the proposed National Climate Change Bill, Gateway Theatre of Shopping is just one of several centres doing their part for the environment – including the potential monetary value of reduced carbon emissions.