Featured image: Solar panels on a Coles and Liquorland store in Craigieburn. Image credit: Coles Group.

Origin Energy and Coles are set to partner to deliver 20MW of solar panels across up to 100 Coles liquor stores and supermarkets across the country, in effort to help Coles reach its renewable energy targets. 

Over the next three years, Coles aims to install solar panels on top of 100 stores across the country, with batteries to be installed at one third of the stores to capture and store excess renewable electricity generated on-site.

Coles’ rooftop solar, batteries, and energy assets such as in-store heating, cooling and refrigeration systems will be connected to Origin’s virtual power plant to help ease pressure on the energy grid during peak periods of demand.   

Solar panel installation has begun at six Victorian stores, with installation at all 100 Coles supermarkets, Vintage Cellars, Liquorland and First Choice Liquor Market stores expected to be completed by 2026.

Coles Head of Energy, Jane Mansfield, said that this alliance with Origin is an important step towards Coles achieving its 100 per cent renewable electricity target by June 2025. 

“Over the next three years, we expect to install solar panels on 100 Coles supermarkets and liquor stores. These stores will have on average up to 20 per cent of their electricity needs met by renewable electricity generated on-site,” Ms Mansfield said.

“Not only will this investment in renewables help us reduce our emissions, it will also lower our operational costs and allow us to meet more of our energy needs from our own on-site solar generation.”

Origin Zero Executive General Manager, James Magill, said Origin is thrilled to be working with Coles to support its transition to cleaner and smarter energy solutions.

“This is a landmark alliance between two of Australia’s leading retailers across supermarkets and energy, which will see the companies co-invest in renewable energy and battery assets to help deliver greater emissions reductions for Coles,” Mr Magill said.

“This also marks Origin’s largest customer aggregation agreement providing Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS), allowing us to orchestrate 10MW of flexible energy use across heating, cooling and refrigeration assets at select Coles stores, which helps to support stable and safe operations of the grid.”

The announcement builds on the solar panels Coles already has installed on 87 stores across the country. Other clean energy initiatives by Coles to help reduce emissions include electrification of gas assets, the trial of an electric delivery truck, as well as purchasing renewable electricity from wind and solar farms around the country.

Featured image: Solar panels on a Coles and Liquorland store in Craigieburn. Image credit: Coles Group.

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