Supermarket giant Woolworths is continuing its solar panel rollout as it transitions to 100 per cent renewable energy.
The 150th PV installation is in place at Woolworths Conder in the ACT, which is sporting 222 solar panels on its rooftop for a collective capacity of 100kW. Woolworths says the system will generate more than 145 megawatt-hours a year, which is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of a couple of dozen households.
Woolworths Group General Manager of Green Energy Transition, Michael Shelley, said the company was committed to “doing our bit to bring about a better tomorrow”.
“From store lighting and air-conditioning to food refrigeration, there is no doubt supermarkets are energy intensive to run,” Mr. Shelley stated. “We’re reducing our energy use in small but impactful ways like LED lighting, and we’re proud to be generating our own emissions-free electricity from new solar panels on our Conder rooftop.”
Supermarkets being very energy intensive was no understatement. Woolworths Group accounts for around one per cent of electricity consumption in Australia, a huge proportion for a single entity. Australia’s electricity consumption reached around 224,053 gigawatt hours last year, so Woolworths Group’s share of that would have been approximately 2,240.53 gigawatt-hours – or ~2.241 billion kilowatt-hours.
ACT Minister for Emissions Reduction Shane Rattenbury welcomed Woolies’ latest effort in PV, stating:
“Installing solar at your home or business can bring your energy costs down while contributing to our 100 per cent renewable electricity supply, so I encourage all Canberrans to look how they can contribute to Canberra’s clean energy future.”
For ACT households and small businesses considering installing panels, a 10kW solar system installed in Canberra can be expected to generate around 16,335 kWh annually, and achieve simple payback within around 4 years, 4 months. 10kW would be considered a big system for a residential rooftop. But a smaller 6.6kW system – a more common capacity for home solar power – should achieve simple payback in around the same time.
If you’re in the ACT and thinking of going solar, there are a bunch of good solar installers in Canberra who can advise on what would be the best system configuration for whatever your situation is.
It’s taken close to two years since Woolie’s 100th solar installation – arranged in the shape of the company’s logo – to reach the 150 mark, and there are more solar power systems to come. Woolworths Group’s various investments in sustainability have seen it achieve a 27 per cent reduction in the Group’s carbon emissions based on 2015 levels.
Acceleration Of Renewables Transition In SA
This latest installation is another step towards Woolworths fully transitioning to 100 per cent green electricity by 2025; but in South Australia it will reach that goal much faster – next month.
A couple of weeks ago the company announced Woolworths Group’s operations in SA will be powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity from July. Some of this green power goodness will come from the company’s own panel installations, but a big chunk will be from Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park in the state’s mid-north; the largest hybrid wind-solar farm in the Southern Hemisphere.
The 50 turbines and 250,000 solar panels at the huge facility will be supplying approximately 100,000 megawatt- hours of renewable electricity annually for Woolworths Group. The deal is a multimillion dollar arrangement over nine-years with Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park owner Iberdrola Renewables Australia
“Woolworths Group is demonstrating that together we can decarbonise our electricity sector, preserving our natural environment and creating jobs in Australia’s regional communities,” said Iberdrola Australia Managing Director and CEO, Ross Rolfe AO.
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