Tesco hypermarkets will soon be running on sunshine, with plans to install solar panels over its stores nationwide.
To do so, Tesco Stores (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (Tesco) is collaborating with NE Suria Satu Sdn Bhd (NESS), a joint-venture company of Petronas and Nefin Group.
In a press release, Tesco said the first phase of the project would see solar photovoltaic (PV) panels installed on the rooftops of 15 Tesco stores by October.
The stores included those in Mergong, Kulim, Sungai Petani Selatan, Jitra and Stargate in Kedah; Bukit Mertajam and Seberang Jaya in Penang; Rawang, Klang, Puchong and Bukit Puchong in Klang Valley; Seremban Jaya in Negeri Sembilan; and Ipoh, Tesco Station 18 and Kampar in Perak.
The panels are expected to generate about 18 gigawatt hours (GWh) of clean energy per year.
For context, it said that was enough power to light up 104 Olympic-sized stadiums simultaneously or about 800,000 homes for a year.
Tesco chief executive officer Paul Ritchie said only 15 of their 62 stores would be included in phase one, though there were plans to use renewable energy at more stores as part of its larger environmental sustainability goals.
This Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with NESS is slated to run for 20 years, until 2040.
A PPA is a contract between several companies where one party provides the hardware or real estate to generate energy, which a second party purchases at an agreed upon price.
For this agreement, NESS would be investing in terms of producing the design, installation of the panels, plus handling operation and maintenance of the system.
NESS said it has appointed solar solutions company Solarvest Energy Sdn Bhd as its local Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) contractor for this project.