Tesco puts solar on rooftops, adds 5 windfarms and solar PPAs

Let’s hope the Tesco plan to adopt 100% renewables by 2030 goes a lot better than the move by Walmart to go down the same route, that US company, the largest supermarket in the world, is in the process of suing Tesla for its rooftop solar on 248 store rooftops, saying they have caused fires.

Tesco is the 3rd largest supermarket in the world by revenues and this week it disclosed a project to include placing 335,000 square meters of solar panels on 187 Tesco store rooftops.

However Tesco is not stopping there and has embraced a wider choice of renewables including 5 onshore wind farms and a single solar farm all to be created by 2020 in the UK.

The company says it will create 400 new jobs in the process and also says that it has contracted for rooftop solar panels in the UK, Thailand, Malaysia, Hungary and Ireland. The UK rooftops will provide 10% of the energy used in the UK, and by 2030 Tesco will source electricity from grid PPAs and certificated renewable suppliers, taking it to 100% renewable power.

In the UK, Ireland and Central Europe the retailer already sources all its electricity from certificate-backed renewable electricity.

By comparison Tesco is a mere £63 billion ($81 billion) in revenues compared to $514 billion for Walmart. Back in August Walmart decided to sue Tesla after seven separate fires broke out on roofs between 2012 and 2018, for systemic and widespread failures in installing and maintaining solar systems on hundreds of its stores. The lawsuit was filed in the New York Supreme Court and in the meantime, Tesla agreed to turn off all of Walmart’s systems since summer 2018. We suspect that it really just wanted to renegotiate the price.

However we have also noted that this deal has a long and sorry history with Tesla bending over backwards to put things right, and Walmart still not letting Tesla turn the solar systems back on, which has led to Tesla counter suing.

The Tesco project however is thought to be biggest of its type from a retailer in the UK. And includes projects with EDF – an onshore wind farm at Burnfoot East, Scotland and with at Inverclyde, and another at Iberdrola’s ScottishPower also in Scotland, at Halsary. Two more wind farms and a solar farm will also be developed.

Jason Tarry, Tesco UK and ROI CEO said, “Our supply chain and long-term business sustainability depend on the health of the natural environment. This project represents a major milestone in our journey to using 100% renewable electricity by 2030.”

Tesco has a longstanding commitment to become a zero-carbon business by 2050.