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Sainsbury’s Are The Largest Generator Of Solar Power In Europe

Sainsbury’s has announced that over 69,500 solar panels have been installed on the roofs of a number of its stores making it the largest generator of solar power across Europe.

The company has solar capacity totalling 16MW spread over 169 of their UK supermarkets out of a total of 572 of their stores. This means that Sainsbury’s now manage Europe’s biggest solar array.

Collectively, these solar panels cover a huge area equivalent to 24 football pitches and it is estimated that 6,800 tonnes per annum of Sainsbury’s carbon footprint will be saved.

Sainsbury’s would not make public the amount they have invested in installing solar panels but the rollout of solar panel installations is going to continue as they pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 30% between 2005 and 2020.

Justin King is Chief Executive of Sainsbury’s who said: “This solar rollout is another big step forward. It makes sense for us – it’s good for the environment and for our business and we are actively looking to install more panels.”

He encouraged other retailers to invest in solar energy as they have a huge capacity on their roofs to do so

Justin King added: “Big contracts like this support job creation in the renewable energy sector and are essential for our solar industry to thrive. We believe that we’ll see the cost of solar energy reaching parity with the grid on commercial installations like this in the next two to four years, and that may well herald a new boom in the solar industry.”

Andrew Pendleton who is the Head of Campaigns at Friends of the Earth felt that the news showed that businesses in the UK were realising the benefits of clean energy from waves, wind and the sun being utilised.

Let us hope that more retailers see the benefits of powering their stores with solar panels.

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