The move is part of a long-term sustainability drive by the co-op – recently rebranded from Central England – which last week signed an open letter from retail industry leaders to the government calling for more support for renewables and community energy.
Sol PV has already delivered successful test sites at the society’s Dersingham and Weeping Cross’ food stores, and will install upwards of 12MWp of rooftop solar panels across more stores, funeral homes, filling stations, and more over the next six to 12 months.
These will all use SolarEdge technology which Sol PV Group will maintain for the next 25 years, including around 31,000 modules.
Central Co-op says this will deliver savings of over 11 million kWh, along with carbon savings of around 3,450 tonnes per year. The society says it has reduced its carbon emissions by 80% since 2010, and it has been awarded the Carbon Trust Triple standard four times in a row.
Paul Dennis, chief operations officer at Central, said: “Renewable energy is such an important cause for all of us here at Central Co-op, and we’re always pleased to find partners as passionate as we are. Sol PV’s previous work at Dersingham and Weeping Cross provided an excellent taste of the partnership and we’re looking ahead to a brighter future with their contributions, especially considering all the carbon savings to help us in our commitment to sustainable energy.
“Our purpose is to create a sustainable society for all and we can’t think of a better way to demonstrate that than by showing our commitment to keeping the environment safe for everyone to enjoy. We thank everyone for their hard work in making this possible.”
Sol PV’s managing director Tony Waite added: “We are absolutely delighted to be awarded such a prestigious contract as the Central Co-op PV roll out. I would like to thank the team at Central Co-op for working so closely with us over the past 18 months. It has been an absolute privilege.
“I’d also like to thank the amazing team at Sol PV Group, for their continual dedication and commitment. This determination has enabled partnerships of this prestigious nature to be possible. Sol PV Group now has an extensive pipeline of commercial project which will see us become one of the largest commercial renewable companies in the UK. This project will continue to create job opportunities within the renewable energy sector, both locally and nationwide.”