New Zealand outdoor equipment retailer Kathmandu has opened a store in Australia which runs off solar and battery power. While its presence in shopping centres means it can’t send every store solar, it’s not ruling out converting other stand-alone stores.
The store, at Blackburn in Victoria, is a large stand-alone store which suited the initiative.
Kathmandu project manager store development, Dean Smith, said the move reflected the company’s focus on having a positive impact on the environment.
“Kathmandu has been using sustainable practices for over 30 years and they are integral to our operations. Being able to improve our environmental footprint is one of our key pillars. The solar and battery powered system will allow us to operate 100 per cent off the grid and be self-sufficient. With a five year pay-back plan it will also lead to substantial cost savings and even allow power to be put back into the system.”
Once complete, this solar-battery generator will provide 100 percent of the Blackburn site’s needs at 92,000 kilowatt-hours, offset over 124 tonnes of Co2 emissions.
It will even provide full battery backup power in the event of grid failure or overcast days allowing the store to remain completely safe and operational.
A live feed of the store’s solar activities will be displayed on a monitor within the store, allowing customers to view the power generation versus usage.
The new solar system has a full battery backup, and will cover the entire roof area of the buildingwith the high-end storage batteries from leading German battery company Sonnel GmBh, and made in Australia at the former Holden plant in South Australia.