The Shoprite Group is accelerating the rollout of rooftop solar installations at its sites across South Africa. The Shoprite Group is South Africa’s largest retailer by market capitalization, sales, profit, and number of employees and customers. Shoprite operates in 11 African countries. The Group has more than 2,900 stores across Africa. Some of the Shoprite Group’s famous customer-facing brands include Checkers, Shoprite, USave, OK, and House & Home.
New rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) installations at various sites throughout the country are adding to the Shoprite Group’s growing network of solar-powered and renewable electricity installations in South Africa. The Group’s current installed capacity of solar PV generates almost 50 million kWh annually with 174,534m2 of solar panels across 71 sites, which is equivalent to 24 soccer fields! This is enough to power 4,554 households for a full year, easing pressure on the national electricity grid.
The Group’s Sustainability Manager, Sanjeev Raghubir, says “Renewable energy enables our stores to reduce our environmental impact, and in some cases, continue operating during power cuts. We aim to power 25% of the Group’s operations with renewables in the next five years and to meet our science-based emission reduction targets, including net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”
Here are some of the new sites and generated kWh for each site:
With over 2,900 stores, having such a large footprint of stores across South Africa and several other markets means that the Shoprite Group has a huge electricity bill. Shoprite’s electricity bill is about R3.4 billion per year. Generating some of its electricity requirements onsite from rooftop solar helps to offset quite a significant amount of electricity consumption from the grid which lowers its electricity bill but also helps reduce fossil fuel generated power consumption, as South Africa’s grid is mostly powered by coal.
The Shoprite Group is accelerating its sustainability programs through several initiatives. The Shoprite Group is also growing its solar-assisted fleet of trailers for its trucks. The solar panels installed on the top of trailers are also used to power tail lifts for the rest of the non-refrigerated fleet. The solar panels on their refrigerated trailers allow operators to switch off the diesel engine when the trucks are stationary. The solar panels on the trailers have helped to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and contribute significant reductions in emission through avoided diesel use by the solar powered fleet. The Shoprite Group was also the first South African retailer to pilot a heavy-duty electric truck as part of its fleet.
Images courtesy of Shoprite
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