13 November 2020 – Tesco has announced a major new green electricity project that will see it sourcing renewable energy from three solar farms.
The project, in partnership with renewable energy investor, Low Carbon, will see the creation of three solar farms in Essex, Anglesey and Oxfordshire. The solar farms will generate up to 130GWh of energy per year, enough to power 44,828 three-bedroom homes, helping Tesco procure renewable energy with additionality for the grid. The work is part of the retailer’s commitment to use 100 per cent renewable electricity across the Tesco Group by 2030* and will save 30,308 tonnes of CO2 per year, the equivalent of taking 14,457 cars off the road.
The current project follows the supermarket’s announcement last year that it would begin sourcing renewable energy from five onshore windfarms, as well as fitting thousands of solar panels across its UK store network. Tesco has already fitted 60 stores with solar panels. In parallel to this, the business now also has the largest unsubsidised PPA portfolio in the UK.
The milestone agreement represents a major step forward for Low Carbon, whose advanced renewable energy pipeline stands at more than 4GW. The company recently became an associate member of the Prince of Wales’ Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, which brings together international business leaders, including Tesco, who believe there is an urgent need to tackle global heating head on.
Jason Tarry, Tesco UK and ROI CEO 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.”
Seán Mallon, Climate Change Specialist, WWF said: “This is a welcome step from Tesco towards a net-zero future. It’s the kind of positive change we need to see from all businesses if we’re going to achieve a sustainable economy.”
Roy Bedlow, Chief Executive and Founder of Low Carbon, 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.”
Tesco recognises climate change as the biggest environmental threat the world faces and has a long-standing commitment to tackling climate change with targets across both its own operations and its supply chain.
Tesco was the first FTSE100 company to set ambitious science-based targets to become a zero-carbon business by 2050 globally and by 2035 in the UK.
Low Carbon will remain closely involved in the projects during construction and in operation through the provision of asset management services to maximise the operational and financial performance for each of the solar parks.
Notes to editors:
*This target is for Tesco Group and in parallel to installing solar panels on stores in the UK 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 Central Europe by Spring 2021 and already sources all its electricity in the UK, Ireland and Slovakia from certificate-backed renewable electricity. The move to source more renewable electricity directly shows that Tesco are contributing further to increase the renewable electricity capacity.
More information on Tesco’s ambition to use 100% renewable energy by 2030 can be found here: https://www.tescoplc.com/blog/carbon-renewable-electricity-tesco/
About Low Carbon:
Low Carbon is a leading renewable energy investment and asset management company committed to the development and operation of renewable energy at scale. Low Carbon invests in renewable energy projects across a range of renewable energy technologies including solar PV, wind, energy storage, waste-to-energy and energy efficiency. To date, its investments have avoided more than 755,000 tonnes of CO2, enough clean energy to power more than 255,000 homes.
Low Carbon has a proven track record in the development, construction, financing and management of renewable energy assets and remains involved in the projects for the long term with a dedicated asset management team that manages assets on balance sheet and for third parties. The team is actively engaged in the UK and European waste-to-energy market and with a renewable energy pipeline of more than 4GW and is well-positioned to capitalise on opportunities as the need for renewable energy and energy security increases.