Tesco, the largest supermarket chain in the UK, has signed several green energy agreements and will start to build solar panels at a number of stores as well as buying energy from wind farms.
The move is a sign of progress towards the company’s green energy targets. The food giant has said that it aims to generate 10% of its energy needs on site by 2030, and switch to using 100% green energy by the same year, the specialist news site Energy News Live, reported.
“Our supply chain and long term business sustainability depend on the health of the natural environment,” Jason Tarry, Tesco’s UK chief executive, said of the announcement.
“Our customers and colleagues expect Tesco to play its part in caring for the planet," he added. "This project represents a major milestone in our journey to using 100% renewable energy by 2030.”
The company is partnering with a green energy firm, the Green Investment Group, which will install, own, and maintain the solar power systems with Tesco paying them for the electricity generated under what's known as a "Power Purchase Agreement".
Three other corporate Power Purchase Agreements have been signed by Tesco and EDF Renewables, it was also announced on Oct. 28. Those deals are set to provide power from Scottish wind farms to the supermarket chain, as well as see 15,000 solar panels installed.
In total, the EDF Renewables deal will provide 60 Megawatts of electricity and it is expected that 17 stores will have solar panels by 2020, Business Green reported.
The type of agreements that have been signed are designed so that large-scale organisations can switch to renewable energy without big upfront costs, while agreeing to purchasing a lot of energy in the long term.
Earlier this month 20 universities in the UK joined together to sign similar deals to start buying energy from wind farms, as Global Citizen reported, which was a first for the public sector.
The managing director of the Green Investment Group, Andrew Gray, said: “We’re excited to support Tesco in reaching its zero-carbon 2050 emissions target."
He added: “At a time when subsidies for solar PV [photovoltaics, a.k.a. solar panel electricity systems] are starting to come to an end in the UK and around the world, our team has continued its effort to deploy solar PV systems to help reduce emissions and energy bills for our customers.”