Developers behind the $500 million Roe Highway Logistics Park have announced the project will become carbon neutral after they were awarded $95 million in Federal finance to help it become greener.
Led by Hesperia, along with consortium partners Gibb Group and Fiveight, the estate is set to achieve lifetime carbon neutrality for development within two years.
In a sign of changing business attitudes, the announcement comes in the wake of a similar goal set by miner Andrew Forrest, who wants FMG operations to become carbon neutral within 10 years.
While the Roe Highway estate developers have long had a green focus, the finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation will turbocharge their initiatives, helping the park become one of the first carbon-neutral industrial estates in Australia.
Hesperia managing director Ben Lisle, pictured, said the finance would be used to install low-carbon concrete in five warehouses to be built over the next 18 months and to extend solar energy power panels across the rooftops at the 56ha site. The money could also be used in the potential export of power back to the South West Interconnected System, pending advances in battery storage and favourable State Government policies for exporters.
The park is set to generate 2MW of solar power across the development but Mr Lisle said it had the potential to create 17MW if it extended panels across all rooftops.
After feeding the estate’s own energy needs, a surplus 15MW could be exported back into the energy system to power up to 2500 homes.
“We see this as a way businesses should be behaving going forward,” Mr Lisle said.
He clarified that the strategy was not intended to address the carbon footprint in the broader operations of individual tenants , which include Sandvik, CHEP, Silk, Northline, KTrans, and Expro, but to ensure the estate operated in an environmentally friendly way. A big part of this includes reductions in heating and cooling , which is being addressed partly through the planting of more than 4000 native trees .
The estate also had stormwater management and wastewater recycling strategies , double glazing and specialist insulation, low-energy lighting and grid-friendly technology such as smart inverters and smart metering.
Launched in early 2019, the estate is currently 75 per cent committed, with key opportunities remaining at two large sites adjacent to the WA Government’s new Kenwick rail freight facility.