December 9, 2019
Heard of ‘impact investing’? It’s one of the fastest growing sectors of the financial market, and it’s something you’re already part of – simply by investing with Array.
Put simply, impact investing is about generating positive, measurable social and environmental changes, alongside a healthy financial return.
In our case, our solar farms are contributing to some seriously impressive changes for good in the health, environment and social spheres.
We had a chat with Venetia Roberts, Development Manager at our partner Impact Investment Group, to take a closer look at how Array investors are helping the world.
We’re helping avoid 4.1 million tonnes of carbon emissions
To start, our solar farms – Brigalow, Chinchilla and Swan Hill – are together projected to generate power that will avoid 4.1 million tonnes of carbon emissions over their operating lifetime.
In the context of climate change, this has obvious benefits. ‘Intrinsically, renewables have a social and environmental value,’ explains Roberts.
By avoiding the need to produce the equivalent amount of power through traditional fossil fuel generation, our solar farms are reducing the amount of greenhouse gases that would otherwise enter the atmosphere – and all the environmental damage and associated human impacts that would otherwise result.
We’re helping avoid 42,000 pollution-related diseases, and 78 deaths
But fossil fuelled electricity generation doesn’t only create greenhouse gas emissions. It also generates air pollution.
‘This pollution is mostly invisible, but has immediate impacts on the population,’ explains Roberts. Burning fossil fuels releases environmental toxins into the air and water, which particularly impacts people living close to mines and power generation facilities.
Solar farms, by contrast, are far cleaner. If Brigalow, Chinchilla and Swan Hill solar farms didn’t exist, and equivalent power were supplied by the current fossil-fuelled grid, there would eventually be an additional 42,000 pollution related diseases – and 78 deaths.
We’re helping save over 15,000 million litres of water
Solar electricity is also much less thirsty than fossil-fuelled power.
By generating electricity through our solar farms, we’re saving the water that would otherwise be used – and that water is a lot of water: 15,050 megalitres in total, or 6020 Olympic swimming pools.
Given many parts of Australia are now experiencing the worst drought on record, that’s a pretty significant figure – for our agricultural sector and rural communities in particular.
We’ve helped create 470 jobs
Finally, there’s the economic benefit of our solar farms. Between Brigalow, Chinchilla and Swan Hill, we’ve created 470 direct and indirect jobs, including 160 full-time construction jobs.
That’s more than double the number of jobs that oil, natural gas and coal facilities with a similar energy output would create.
Given their rural and regional locations, these jobs have significant flow-on effects, boosting local economies – with all the social benefits that result.
Note: Impact figures cited are for the IIG Solar Asset Fund. The impact of Array will vary with our ownership of the Solar Asset Fund and other investments.