Supermarket sweep: Tesco inks onsite solar deal as Lidl eyes rapid EV charging points

Lidl is already operating rapid EV chargers at 20 of its Irish stores (pictured). Image: Lidl Ireland

Lidl’s commitment will see the company install rapid EV charging infrastructure at 300 supermarkets in Great Britain over the next three years. The majority of these locations will be new stores – including 50 due to open by the end of 2019 but the retailer has also committed to adding the infrastructure to all existing stores which are able to accommodate it.

According to Lidl, the new chargers will be capable of charging most EV models to 80% range within 50 minutes. Customers wishing to use the infrastructure will be charged per kWh of power and, while Lidl has not yet confirmed pricing, claims it will be the “best price on the market”.

Lidl GB’s chief development officer Ingo Fischer said the chargers, which will be operated by Pod Point and listed on Zap Map, represent a total investment of £25m for the retailer.

“At Lidl, we are committed to tackling the environmental concerns that our customers care most about, whilst giving them access to solutions that will support them in their ambition to lead more sustainable lives,” Fischer said.

“It is our hope that, through this significant investment, we will enable easier access to charging points, ultimately helping more households switch to EVs.”

The move from Lidl builds on its investment in rapid EV chargers at 20 of its stores in Ireland and comes just days after competitor Morrisons launched 50 rapid EV chargers for customers.

Every Little Helps

As for Tesco, the UK’s biggest supermarket has this week inked a string of clean energy deals – including one to install onsite solar arrays at 17 of its stores in England.

The deal, signed with EDF Renewables and with Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG), lasts for 20 years and will see 15,000 PV panels mounted on the roofs of Tesco superstores. The panels will collectively represent 5 MWp of capacity and are all due to be in place by the end of 2020.

GIG will install, own, operate and maintain the solar PV systems installed on the retail sites – with Tesco paying an agreed price for the electricity that the systems generate.

The other two deals are both 15-year corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Scottish windfarms owned by EDF Renewables. They will see Tesco source power from the 10.8MW Burnfoot East wind farm and another Scottish windfarm which is slated to have a capacity of 43MW once complete. EDF Energy says it will announce details regarding the latter project’s location and completion date in the near future.

Tesco’s chief executive for the UK and the Republic of Ireland Jason Tarry said the move represents a “major milestone” on the company’s journey to using 100% renewable power by 2030 – a commitment it set as part of its 1.5C-aligned science-based targets.

“Our supply chain and long-term business sustainability depend on the health of the natural environment and our customers and colleagues expect Tesco to play its part in caring for the planet,” Tarry said.

Sarah George

Comments (1)

  1. Keiron Shatwell says:

    How about combining the projects? Install massive solar arrays on the roof of the supermarket to power the EV charging points? Possibly even powering the fridges and freezers in the store too.

    Given the acreage of the average supermarket roof there is a huge potential generation capacity going unused.

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