New premium outlet centre Mānawa Bay looks skywards for renewable energy

(Source: Auckland Airport)

Auckland Airport’s modern retail outlet centre, Manawa Bay, which is currently under construction, is set to have the largest rooftop solar system in New Zealand, on top of the 35,000sqm building.

At 2.3-megawatts, the solar array is expected to generate the equivalent of 80 per cent of the 100-store centre’s power usage when it opens in the second half of 2024.

Auckland Airport’s chief commercial officer Mark Thomson said sustainability is a core feature of the purpose-built premium outlet shopping centre.

“We’re committed to making a positive contribution with the Manawa Bay development and renewable energy is a strong focus. We’re incredibly proud of the solar array going atop the building and the benchmark this will set for future developments in New Zealand.

“Throughout the build, we’re doing everything we can to optimise resources, reduce carbon emissions, support local communities and enhance the environment.”

Solar power production capacity from Manawa Bay is expected to generate enough energy to power 410 houses per year and avoid approximately 386 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year – equivalent to a Toyota Corolla driving the length of New Zealand 1200 times.

The Manawa Bay development is aiming to achieve a Five Green Star rating. One of the key Green Star credits for the project is the management of construction and demolition waste

Thomson said: “We understand new developments can generate an increase in carbon, so we are actively putting measures in place to reduce this.

“As well as the solar rooftop, we’re aiming to have electric vehicle charging stations on site, better indoor air quality, lower emissions, improved water conservation, contain more sustainable building materials and contribute to making a healthier environment.

“We’re delighted our sustainability initiatives have been well received by the market. We’re getting strong interest from tenants and the centre is filling up.  More than 60 per cent of the net lettable area are now under either signed heads of terms or agreement to lease, as well as all anchor sites.”

Auckland Airport recently revealed a selection of some of the tenants who will be at Manawa Bay, including Kate Spade (with its first-ever outlet store in New Zealand), as well as Coach, Fila, Under Armour, Puma and Flo & Frankie.

When completed, the centre will offer a light-filled, architecturally striking home for 100 plus stores ranging in size from 50sqm to 1500sqm.

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