Southwest energy deal with supermarket chain to spark jobs
A MAJOR Australian supermarket chain has signed a deal to purchase renewable energy from the Western and Southern Downs region for up to ten years.
Coles Supermarkets has agreed to purchase enough electricity to power more than 90 per cent of its Queensland stores with publicly owned generator and retailer CleanCo.
Queensland Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham announced the deal today, which will begin in July 2022.
“Affordable reliable energy is critical to business and industry, and their capacity to create jobs,” he said.
“Under this agreement, wind and solar energy generated on Queensland’s Southern Downs and Western Downs will be powering Coles supermarkets and other retail outlets right across the Sunshine State.”
Coles CEO Steven Cain said the significant increase in renewable energy is a part of Coles’ commitment to be Australia’s most sustainable supermarket.
“We are thrilled that with these agreements, Coles can make a significant contribution to the growth of renewable energy supply in Australia, as well as to the communities we serve,” he said.
“We have already made changes throughout our business to use energy more efficiently, which has enabled us to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 36.5 per cent since 2009.”
The long-term agreement is backed by solar power from Neoen’s Western Downs Green Power Hub and wind power from Acciona’s MacIntyre Wind Farm.
CleanCo is buying 400 megawatts of new renewable energy from ACCIONA’s Macintyre wind farm, as well as building its own adjoining 102 megawatt Karara wind farm.
CleanCo’s involvement in the MacIntyre Precinct has nearly doubled the size and capacity of the 1026 megawatt precinct, which will start supplying energy to the grid in 2024.
CleanCo CEO Dr Maia Schweizer said that providing clean energy to Coles allows them to create growth and jobs in southwest Queensland associated with its 2025 goal of 1000MW of new renewable generation.
“We are proud to partner with Coles and provide renewables-backed power for its Queensland sites under one contract,” she said.