Midcounties Co-operative to install solar panels across 29 sites

Big Solar Co-op aims to install 100 megawatts (MW) of renewable community solar projects by 2030.

As part of the collaboration, solar panels will be installed across 29 Midcounties Co-operative sites, including food stores, travel outlets, childcare facilities and its head office. These panels are projected to provide around 5% of the society’s electricity needs, reducing its carbon footprint by preventing approximately 290 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

Big Solar Co-op, a volunteer-led organisation, will lead the installation efforts, expected to result in significant cost savings for Midcounties, cutting electricity bills by £180,000 per year and generating more than 5 million kilowatts of electricity annually.

The Midcounties Co-op, entirely owned by its 700,000 members, oversees the Your Co-op family of businesses. This includes more than 230 Your Co-op Food stores spanning the West Midlands, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire regions.

Additionally, the co-operative conducts national operations through its Your Co-op Travel, Your Co-op Childcare, Your Co-op Energy and Your Co-op Broadband and Mobile ventures.

Midcounties Co-operative’s head of sustainability Mike Pickering said: “The partnership between Midcounties and Big Solar Co-op demonstrates the power of co-operation in driving positive change.

“By integrating solar power generation into our operations, we are not only reducing our carbon footprint, but we are also furthering our commitment to building a fairer, more sustainable and ethical future.

The Midcounties Co-operative has previously partnered with more than 270 renewable community energy projects nationwide through its joint venture with Octopus Energy, known as Younity.

In the past year, the Midcounties Co-operative has reduced energy usage by 11%, preventing more than 1,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Looking ahead, Midcounties plans to invest an additional £800,000 in energy efficiency projects over the next 12 months.

This partnership with Big Solar Co-op aligns with the company’s strategy to deepen its commitment to community-driven renewable energy generation.

Big Solar Co-op aims to install 100 megawatts (MW) of renewable community solar projects by 2030. According to the company, the agreement with Midcounties will enable both co-operatives to further act on their commitment to community energy generation.

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