Tesco to co-create three UK solar farms
Tesco has confirmed a new partnership with a renewable energy investor that will facilitate the creation of three solar farms in the UK that will generate clean power equivalent to powering 44,800 homes.
The supermarket giant will work with investors Low Carbon to create solar farms in Essex, Anglesey and Oxfordshire. The solar farms will generate up to 130GWh of energy annually. It will help Tesco procure more renewable energy to power its facilities with additional energy also fed into the grid.
Tesco has committed to using 100% renewable electricity by 2030. The renewable projects will help save more than 30,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually, the equivalent of taking 14,457 cars off the road. Tesco was the first FTSE100 company to set a 1.5C science-based target and is committed to becoming a zero-carbon business by 2050 globally and by 2035 in the UK.
Tesco UK’s chief executive Jason Tarry said: “In 12 months’ time, the UK will host the most critical climate change summit of the decade, known as COP26. At Tesco, we want to play our part. That’s why we’ve brought forward our ambition to reach net-zero in our UK operations by 15 years and made a series of new commitments to help us achieve that target, including reaching a new milestone today in our journey to using 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030.”
The retailer has already switched to 100% renewable-certified purchased electricity across its operations in the UK but is striving to increase the proportion of energy it sources through PPAs and onsite generation. It recently signed deals to install rooftop solar at 17 stores in England and to source electricity from two Scottish windfarms. Tesco has fitted 60 of its stores with solar PV and now has the largest unsubsidised PPA portfolio in the UK.
Tesco has established a £2.5bn revolving credit facility whereby rates and interest are tied to progress against the company's key environmental targets.
The deal with Tesco will take Low Carbon’s advanced renewable energy pipeline to more than 4GW.
Low Carbon’s chief executive Roy Bedlow said: “We are delighted to support Tesco in its journey towards sourcing 100% of energy from renewable sources by 2030. Renewable energy generation at scale is central to Low Carbon’s business model and is a critical element in the fight against climate change.
“Partnering with forward-thinking companies like Tesco will help speed the adoption of renewable energy at scale on the path to achieving a truly low-carbon economy.”