Woolies strikes big NSW wind energy deal

Supermarket giant Woolworths will source 30 per cent of its NSW energy needs from a wind farm after striking a deal with a renewables provider.

From next year Woolworths Group will source 195,000 Megawatt hours of power from the under-construction wind farm near Yass, in the southern tablelands.

The company says that’s equivalent to the electricity used by 108 of its supermarkets, or the yearly energy needs of 34,000 homes. It will prevent almost 158,000 tonnes of carbon emissions entering the atmosphere.

Woolworths plans to transition to 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2025 and hopes to be net carbon positive by 2050.

About 140 of its stores nationwide also utilise rooftop solar power.

Woolies’ supermarket rivals Aldi and Coles have also pledged to transition to 100 per cent renewable electricity use, by 2021 and 2025 respectively.

“Going beyond net carbon neutral, we’ve committed to take more carbon out of the atmosphere than we produce by 2050 and our first renewable power purchase is a key milestone in that pursuit,” Woolies’ Rob McCartney said in a statement on Thursday.

“Supermarkets are particularly energy intensive to run and we want to use our scale for good by supporting the transition to renewable electricity.”

NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean said Woolies’ decision would boost jobs, infrastructure spending and the state’s green energy base.

Greenpeace also lauded Woolworths’ stance, saying it would help bring more green energy into the grid in NSW.

Woolworths accounts for about one per cent of Australia’s total energy use.

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