Tesco has wind in its sails as it announces programme of new green electricity projects

Tesco has continued with its ambitious, industry-leading renewable electricity programme with the announcement it has signed a new deal to take 150GWh of power from Stranoch windfarm every year. 

The windfarm, being built by EDF Renewables UK, has started construction this week and is due to become operational in 2026 generating 102MW, with 20 turbines located on the site in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. 

The deal will see Tesco taking enough clean energy to power the equivalent of more than 80 average sized supermarkets for a year. 

The site is the latest in a series of renewable energy projects which will bolster Tesco’s aim of procuring more of its own renewable electricity and reaching carbon neutrality in its own operations by 2035.  

The latest deal, known as a corporate Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), which has been put in place by EDF Business Renewables, comes as another windfarm in West Benhar was officially opened by EDF Renewables in North Lanarkshire at the end of February.

In addition, four previously announced solar farms – including two operated by Schroders Greencoat, and two by EDF Renewables UK – will start generating renewable electricity for Tesco. Altogether, the five new renewable assets that are coming online will add a substantial 300GWh of energy per year to the Tesco renewable energy portfolio.

The new sites bring the supermarket closer to its target of 60% renewable electricity through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) by 2030, with the clean electricity generated providing Tesco with energy to help power stores, electric home delivery vehicles and EHGVs, as well as air source heat pumps that are used to heat stores. 

These long-term agreements are central to sourcing renewable electricity, guaranteeing procurement over an average 20-year period, giving energy providers confidence to invest and create new renewable energy for the National Grid. 

To support the renewable electricity roll-out, Tesco last year announced its ambition to install onsite solar PPAs at 100 stores over the next three years – with solar panels on roofs across the country helping power stores facing into increased electricity demand. 

With initiatives such as air source heat pumps used to replace gas heating boilers, customer EV charge points, and electric dotcom home delivery vans the need for renewable electricity has never been more important.

Tesco has already met its 2030 ambition to switch to 100% renewable electricity in its own operations across the Tesco Group ten years early, through a mixture of direct sourcing and renewable certificates. The retailer is now moving to ensure the majority of this renewable electricity comes from direct sourcing.

Andy Henley, Tesco Corporate Finance Director, said: “Scaling up the production of clean renewable energy has never been more important, so we’re delighted that five new renewable electricity sites have started generating clean green power for Tesco.

“These new sites are a sign of the strong progress we’re making across our PPA portfolio, and our partnership with EDF Renewables UK, Stranoch, moves us closer towards our target of reaching carbon neutrality in our own operations by 2035.”

Matthieu Hue, Chief Executive of EDF Renewables UK commented: 
“At a time when tackling climate change and energy security are rightly understood as essential, EDF Renewables UK is delighted to work so closely with Tesco on many projects sourced from a large and diverse renewables generation portfolio.  

“It is also great that EDF Business Solutions is able to add its market knowledge and trading expertise to allow Tesco a complete supply solution to access clean and affordable energy. 

“Overall partnerships like this are pivotal to helping the country to achieve net zero.”

Lee Moscovitch, Partner at Schroders Greencoat and joint Head of Solar, said: “We’re delighted to work with Tesco on supporting its carbon neutrality ambitions through the Thaxted and Eynsham projects, which together will supply 80 GWh a year in clean electricity towards Tesco’s energy goals. Partnerships with companies on renewable energy projects, including PPAs, are a key way in which we can create long-term direct impact towards the UK’s overall renewable energy capacity. We’re pleased to be able to help Tesco, the UK’s leading food retailer, on its ambitious journey on emissions reductions, while contributing significantly towards the country’s overall net zero strategy.”

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