SOUTH AFRICA – Africa’s leading retailer, Shoprite Group has added 22 new solar PV (photovoltaic) sites between February and September 2021, more than doubling its solar capacity, as it aims to power 25% of its operations with renewable energy over the next five years.

The development is in line with the group’s strategy to mitigate climate change, in which solar PV rollout and procurement, including a significant number of solar-powered refrigerated trucks and trailers, play a significant role.

Shoprite now has 41 solar PV installations at two distribution centres (Basson and Centurion), 38 supermarkets in South Africa and Namibia, as well as a parking lot at its home office.

The new solar PV installations represent a 138% increase to 29,280MWh per year. This output, generated by solar panels spread across the equivalent of 14 rugby fields, could power 2,674 households for a year, thus easing the pressure on the national grid.

These new sites include Shoprite stores in Ficksburg, Bethlehem Kroonstad, De Aar, Bronkhorstspruit, Brakpan, Vryburg, Delft, Worcester, Beaufort West, Paarl, Kraaifontein and Ondangwa in Namibia.

Checkers stores with new solar installations include Welkom, Virginia Circle, Zevenwacht, Stellenbosch, Protea Heights and Checkers Hypers in Sandown and Sun Valley.

Sanjeev Raghubir, group sustainability manager for the Shoprite Group said the group was intent on reducing its indirect greenhouse gas emissions by using more renewable energy, and continuously improving energy efficiency to manage its electricity costs which approaches R3 billion (US$196m) a year.

“At the same time, the group is strengthening the resilience and adaptive capacity of its operations and supply chain to ensure responsible business continuity, and that of the local communities in which it operates,” he added.

The Shoprite Group, is joining a growing number of SA companies who are investing in solar and renewable power as the Eskom grid becomes increasingly unreliable and electricity prices rocket.

South Africa Breweries switches to renewable energy

Recently, South Africa Breweries resorted to using renewable energy in brewing its extra cold refreshment, Castle Lite.

While the group aims to completely switch to renewable energy by 2025, all seven of its breweries in the country have started generating electricity using solar, with Alrode brewery in Johannesburg also making use of bio-gas facilities.

As of January – August this year, SAB has already generated over 9.7GwH of renewable electricity. This switch has also resulted in 9 443 tons of Co2 emissions reductions since the start of the year.

And this is just the start, as the company is on a journey to be 100% brewed with renewable electricity and to fully “switch to renewable” sources by 2025, ensuring that they use all options available to further reduce the load they take from the national grid.

The move is directly in line with the company’s holding entity’s, AB InBev, globally commitment to the 2025 Sustainability Goals in climate action by adding renewable electricity capacity to regional grids and reducing CO2 emissions across the globe.

AB InBev’s global renewable energy commitment was to have 50% of the company’s purchased electricity come from renewable energy sources by 2020, and 100% by 2025.

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