Woolworths Group makes first steps towards renewable future

Supermarket giant Woolworths Group has made its first renewable power purchase agreement (PPA), signing on with a brand new wind farm at Bango in New South Wales.

The PPA is a ten year agreement with energy company CWP Renewables. This is the first step for the company, with the ultimate aim being to transition to 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2025.

The PPA is a financial agreement that will see the owners of the wind farm operate and maintain the turbines, while Woolworths Group will purchase the electricity being produced to use in their operations.

As well as the supermarket chain, Woolworths Group also includes Big W, BWS bottle shops, Dan Murphy’s, Cellarmasters, Langton’s and the ALH Group of pubs and hotels.

The chain is aiming to be running on 100 per cent green power by 2025 and become carbon net positive by 2050. This PPA announcement is likely to be the first of many to come.

The Bango PPA will start from January 2022 and cover around 30 per cent of the Woolworth’s Group’s operations in New South Wales. The agreement includes enough energy to power around 108 supermarkets and prevent around 158,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from reaching the atmosphere.

Adopting wind energy will power their operations

Woolworths Group Director of Format Rob McCartney said the company is committed to a sustainable future.

“We know the steps we take to become a more sustainable business today will help create a better tomorrow for generations to come,” he said.

“Going beyond net carbon neutral, we’ve committed to take more carbon out of the atmosphere than we produce by 2050, and our first renewable power purchase is a key milestone in that pursuit.”

This PPA comes after the installation of solar panels on around 140 locations around the country. Mr McCartney said they had an obligation to act now as supermarkets are electricity intensive.

“Supermarkets are particularly energy intensive to run and we want to use our scale for good by supporting the transition to renewable electricity,” he said.

“To spur the growth of the industry, we’re prioritising renewable energy from new build projects like the Bango wind farm, which also demonstrates the potential of green energy to deliver investment and jobs to regional areas.”

Woolworths follows Coles into greener future

Coles is the other major supermarket chain in Australia, and they announced their green energy plans for their Queensland operations in 2020 as they also strive for a sustainable future.

Coles has signed a ten year agreement with the Queensland Government-owned Cleanco, which will see green power delivered to 90 per cent of all Coles and retail outlets in the state from July 22.

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