Solar Bay in $500m rollout of renewables across ESR’s $15b property portfolio

Solar Bay in $500m rollout of renewables across ESR’s $15b property portfolio

(L-R) Solar Bay co-founder and director James Doyle and ESR Australia CEO Phil Pearce.

ESR Australia, a subsidiary of the world’s third-largest listed real estate investment manager, has partnered with Sydney-based Solar Bay to deploy up to $500 million in renewable infrastructure across its $15 billion portfolio of office and industrial assets nationally.

Solar Bay, founded in 2016 by James Doyle and Andrew Archibald, builds and operates renewable energy infrastructure for the largest commercial and industrial property owners in Australia.

Doyle describes the deal as a ‘first-of-its-kind partnership’ that creates a new blueprint for decarbonising the Australian property sector.

The agreement will accelerate the deployment of renewable energy infrastructure across ESR-managed assets nationally with the aim of reducing up to 56,000 tonnes of carbon-dioxide per year from these operations.

Solar Bay, which was founded to bridge the gap between companies looking to cut CO2 emissions and the technical capability and capital to do so, has an extensive portfolio in the field including the fit-out of an extensive rooftop solar and battery storage system at LOGOS’s Moorebank Logistics Park in Sydney.

ESR Australia, which is part of the $230 billion Hong Kong-based ESR Group, says the partnership will help meet demand from its customers for renewable energy solutions.

Under the agreement, Solar Bay will deliver up to 50MW of solar panels, 300MW of battery storage capacity and EV charging infrastructure to ESR Australia’s properties over the next decade.

This will potentially include the installation of up to 125,000 solar panels to achieve the 50MW target.

Among ESR Australia’s assets are the Westlink Industry Park and Horsley Logistics Park in NSW and the West Industry Park and Southgate Towers office building in Victoria.

"It is imperative for ESR to future-proof its assets with consideration of environmental sustainability, and this significant investment into renewable energy infrastructure across our growing portfolio will ensure the continued viability of our operations and those of our customers,” says ESR Australia CEO Phil Pearce.

“We are delighted to partner with Solar Bay, an organisation at the forefront of Australia's renewable energy technology and infrastructure. 

“ESR Australia will draw on Solar Bay's expertise in technologies such as embedded networks, rooftop solar, electric vehicle charging, battery storage, and broader renewable energy solutions to deliver infrastructure that addresses our customers' energy needs today and into the future.”

Pearce says the energy requirements of its customers have grown significantly with the adoption of electric-powered automation and he sees demand continuing to increase with the take up of electric vehicles.

“Through the provision of clean energy, we are seeking to alleviate pressure on our customers from growing energy costs, while mitigating the environmental impact of the increasing electrification of operations,” he says. 

ESR Australia estimates its energy solutions could deliver savings of up to 50 per cent on energy bills.

Solar Bay will manage the development, design and installation of customised renewable energy infrastructure for ESR Australia’s clients.

“The multi-year partnership also allows us to maximise renewable energy penetration across ESR's development pipeline by implementing innovative electrification solutions like embedded networks during the build stage, giving customers access to cost-competitive, 100 per cent renewable energy,” says Doyle, director of Solar Bay.

“This partnership is proof of the rapid increase in demand for green energy solutions, and together with ESR we look forward to continuing to play a leading role in the sector's transition away from carbon-based fuels over the coming years."

Since 2016, Solar Bay has accumulated 800MW of greenfield assets, including 50MW of rooftop Solar PV and 150MW of battery storage for commercial and industrial clients nationally, working with industry majors such as Charter Hall (ASX: CHC), Lendlease (ASX: LLC), LOGOS and Coles Group (ASX: COL).

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