Bloomberg New Energy Finance:
Land Securities 100% Renewable, Plans UK’s Largest Shopping Center PV Array
Land Securities Group is powered by 100% renewables under a contract with SmartestEnergy, according to Tom Byrne, energy manager, and is now looking to reduce its reliance on the grid by building up its own onsite portfolio of solar and other low-carbon technologies.
The UK’s largest commercial property company has a market capitalization of 8.19 billion pounds ($10bn) and a portfolio including 13 retail parks, 13 shopping centers and 23 leisure destinations. In London alone, it has 6.2 million square feet of office and retail space, including 20 Fenchurch Street, a 525ft City skyscraper nicknamed the “Walkie-Talkie.”
Last year, Land Securities produced at its buildings some 1.8GWh of low-carbon or renewable heat and electricity, mainly from solar, but also from its hydrogen fuel cell — the first in the City of London — and it has plans for more. “We have two solar PV projects [in our pipeline]” said Byrne, and “combined these will add a further 0.65GWh a year”. One of these projects is set to be the largest shopping center PV array in the U.K., at 785kw.
In March 2017, Land Securities announced it was the first property company in the world to have its greenhouse gas emissions target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative. A partnership between CDP, UN Global Compact, WRI and WWF, the initiative supports target setting in line with the decarbonization required to keep the global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius. Land Securities’ goal of a 40% carbon-intensity reduction by 2030 will in part be achieved through grid decarbonization, said Byrne, but also by reducing its own energy demand and that of those tenants for whom it procures power.
On the merit of setting a science-based target, Byrne said that “historically, companies have set targets based on what they think they can achieve”, but the science-based target approach changes that and “generally come[s] up with fairly ambitious goals.” He acknowledges that it is going to take more than one company to meet the climate science target, but there is also a lot of “merit in individual companies doing this themselves for their own business gain.”