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Tesco announces major green power project in the UK

  • Move will see 5 onshore wind farms and 1 solar farm created by 2020 in the UK
  • 335,000 m2 of solar panels fitted to 187 Tesco stores
  • 400 new jobs to be created in the UK renewables industry

Tesco has announced a major green electricity project to source green electricity directly from wind farms, solar farms and solar panels on its own stores. The move is the next significant phase of the retailer’s commitment to use 100 per cent renewable electricity across the Tesco Group by 2030 and will save 90,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. 

The project will see the creation of 5 onshore windfarms and 1 solar farm across the UK as well as solar panels fitted to 187 Tesco’s UK stores.  Combined, the new sources of green electricity could power the equivalent of 140,000 homes.

The project will be the biggest of its type ever completed by a retailer in the UK.  It will create more than 400 new jobs in the UK renewables industry.

Confirmed sites include: Onshore wind: Burnfoot East, Scotland – EDF; Onshore wind: Inverclyde, Scotland – BayWa r.e.; Onshore wind: Halsary, Scotland – ScottishPower. Two further wind farms and a solar farm will also be developed.

The solar panel installations on Tesco stores will contribute to the company’s ambition to generate 10 per cent of the electricity it uses on-site by 2030*.

Jason Tarry, Tesco UK and ROI CEO said:

“Our supply chain and long-term business sustainability depend on the health of the natural environment. This project represents a major milestone in our journey to using 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2030.” 

Seán Mallon, Climate Change Specialist, WWF said:

“It’s encouraging to see Tesco taking such positive steps towards reaching its goal to use 100% renewable electricity by 2030. As part of our long-term partnership, WWF will be supporting Tesco to accelerate this ambition. All businesses must act with increased ambition and urgency to reduce emissions and end our contribution to climate change. We are the last generation who can stop this crisis from becoming a catastrophe.”

CEO of EDF Renewables UK, Matthieu Hue said: 

“These projects show the ability of EDF to provide diverse solutions for customers in terms of low cost renewable electricity. They also demonstrate our ability to develop subsidy free solar and wind in the UK and underpin the important part these technologies play in de-carbonising the UK electricity system, to reach the country’s net zero targets by 2050.”

Lindsay McQuade, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables, said:

“ScottishPower is committed to tackling climate change and continuing to develop and construct onshore wind farms is a key means of doing so cost effectively. We are delighted to be working with Tesco at Halsary windfarm which will support sustainable jobs in the Highlands where one job has the economic impact of 36 jobs in London on the local economy.”

Gordon MacDougall, Managing Director, BayWa r.e. UK Limited, commented:

“BayWa r.e. is proud to be partnering with Tesco and providing the retailer with renewable energy as a result of securing a Power Purchase Agreement for the Inverclyde Windfarm. 

"With construction underway, we are delighted the windfarm will help Tesco move a step closer to achieving its renewable energy goals.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

* This target is for Tesco Group - as well as installing solar panels on stores in the UK, Tesco is installing panels across their estate in Thailand, Malaysia, Hungary and Ireland. By 2030 Tesco Group intends to source the remaining 90% of electricity from Grid PPAs and certificates, allowing the estate to be 100% powered by renewable electricity.

Tesco intends to move to 100% in the UK, Ireland and Central Europe sooner as the retailer already sources all its electricity in the UK, Ireland & Slovakia from certificate-backed renewable electricity.  The move to source more renewable electricity directly shows that Tesco are helping to further increase renewable electricity capacity.   

Tesco has a longstanding commitment to tackling climate change. It was the first FTSE100 company to set ambitious science-based targets to become a zero-carbon business by 2050.

More information on Tesco’s ambition to use 100% renewable electricity by 2030 can be found here.

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