July 14, 2021

How much solar power does Woolworths generate?

More than 100 Woolworths supermarkets across Australia now use solar power to reduce their environmental footprint and cut energy costs.

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Woolworths are installing rooftop solar panels and systems across their supermarkets.

Woolworths are investing in more efficient refrigeration and lighting, and harnessing the power of the sun across their network to operate their stores more sustainably.

All Australian stores are connected to Woolworths’ Energy Management Centre with real‑time visibility of energy usage to help identify opportunities for improvements in energy efficiency across the network.

A typical supermarket rooftop 100kW solar system is made up of 350 high-efficiency solar panels spanning 1,000 square metres. The solar system can generate more than 150 megawatt-hours of electricity each year and helps offset approximately 8 percent of the store’s energy consumption.

Larger supermarket solar systems

Woolworths in Greenfields, Western Australia, has a 157kW rooftop system comprised of 541 solar panels. The system generates more than 230 megawatt-hours of electricity each year, providing 16 percent of the supermarket’s electricity consumption.

Woolworths in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, has a 272kW system with more than 930 solar panels. The system produces around 426 megawatt-hours of electricity annually.

Woolworths supermarkets across Australia generate more than 15,000 megawatt-hours of electricity through solar panels annually. That’s the equivalent of 2,300 households’ annual energy consumption.

Towards 100 percent renewables

Woolworths have committed to powering its entire operations with 100 percent renewable electricity by 2025.

Solar systems have been installed in more than 150 locations nationally including Woolworths supermarkets, Big W stores, distribution centres and offices. 

More solar coming

There’s more solar planned including the largest installation in Woolworths’ portfolio with the expansion of their Adelaide Regional Distribution Centre (ARDC) at Gepps Cross in South Australia. A 1.6MW system will generate around 20 percent of the centre’s electricity requirements.

The new Moorebank National Distribution Centre in Western Sydney will have around 9,500 solar panels installed, generating 5,550 MWh of energy each year. That’s the equivalent of more than 1,000 Australian households’ annual electricity consumption.

Energy efficiency

Woolworths support Australia’s commitment under the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels and work towards containing warming to 1.5 degrees.

They’re reducing emissions and continually improving energy efficiency of their operations and actively scanning emerging technologies.

Woolworths’s sustainability investments have helped deliver an 18 percent reduction in carbon emissions on 2015 levels.

Energy future

On-site solar panels won’t meet all of Woolworths energy needs.

So the company is signing on to more Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). Renewables-based PPA arrangements provide companies with cheaper electricity than conventional mains grid supply.

Woolworths have committed to attaining net neutral carbon emissions and net carbon positive operations by 2050. This means they’ll remove more carbon from the atmosphere than they produce.

Woolworths’ actions have put pressure on Coles and Aldi to follow suit and commit to 100 percent renewables for their electricity requirements.

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