Australian supermarket giant Coles has continued leading the way for reducing carbon emissions, thanks to a new deal signed with clean energy retailer CleanCo.The new deal will see 400 GWh of solar and wind energy delivered to power Coles’ retail operations in Queensland and signals a continued shift towards large companies embracing renewable energy.
What is the CleanCo/Coles deal?
CleanCo has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) to supply Coles with 4 TWh of clean energy over a ten year period, commencing in July 2022. The energy is set to be generated from solar and wind sources and delivered at a rate of 400 GWh each year.
This amount of energy will account for more than 90% of Coles’ energy needs for its retail operations throughout Queensland. To put this into perspective, the deal will have the effect of lowering Coles’ electricity carbon dioxide by around 20% throughout Australia. That equates to roughly 240,000 tonnes every year.
Coles’ remaining electricity needs in Queensland will also be provided by CleanCo, through their low emissions portfolio.
Who are CleanCo?
CleanCo is a government-owned clean energy generator and retailer, established as part of the Queensland Government’s Powering Queensland Plan. Utilising a combination of wind, solar and hydro, CleanCo supports the state’s strategy to address short and long-term challenges facing Australia’s energy market.
CleanCo CEO Dr Maia Schweizer said that delivering clean energy at a competitive price to Coles allows CleanCo to create growth and jobs in regional Queensland associated with its 2025 goal of 1000 MW of new renewable generation. “We are proud to partner with Coles and provide this volume of renewables-backed power under one contract.”
Where will the energy come from?
The electricity used to power Coles’ retail operations will be sourced from Neoen’s Western Downs Green Power Hub near Chinchilla. Once operational, this will be Australia’s biggest solar farm of 400 MW when it comes online in 2022. Also delivering power for the CleanCo/Coles PPA will be Acciona’s SA proposed 1,026-MW MacIntyre wind farm west of Warwick. The Acciona wind farm will go live in 2024.
This latest PPA extends Coles’ impressive reach into renewable energies. The retail giant last year signed a similar 10-year PPA with energy retailer Metka EGN to power its NSW operations with clean energy from three solar parks in New South Wales from July 2020.