The Shoprite Group now generates enough electricity to power over 1,100 households (12,300MWh of electricity) a year from solar energy, following the installation of rooftop PV panels at 19 sites in South Africa and Namibia.
The group has additionally fitted 649 solar panels to the roofs of its refrigerated trucks, which generate 760MWh annually. This is enough power to run 1,040 refrigerators for a full year.
These allow drivers to switch off truck ignitions at delivery locations, reducing noise and exhaust pollution, while keeping the cold chain intact.
The group’s largest installation at Basson distribution centre in Brackenfell, South Africa is a move to reduce the company’s impact on the environment. There are now enough solar panels at this distribution centre to cover an entire soccer field and the 7,706m2 of panels have a generating capacity of 1MW.
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Sanjeev Raghubir, sustainability manager for the Shoprite Group, commented: “At Shoprite, we recognise that climate change poses direct and indirect risks to our business and the communities we serve. Therefore, we are taking measures to tread more lightly on our planet.”
“Apart from these solar panel installations, we have also signed an agreement which will see the group procure 434,000 MWh of renewable energy per year for the next seven years. We are the first retailer to close such a deal, which is arguably the first of its kind in Africa,” concludes Raghubir.