Coles Signs 10-Year Deal To Provide 10% Of Their Power Needs Through Solar

 

A media release by supermarket giant Coles has announced that Solar power plants capable of generating sufficient electricity for 39,000 homes will be built in regional New South Wales following a 10-year agreement between Coles and global renewable power generation company Metka EGN.

In the first deal of its kind to be made by a major Australian retailer, Coles will purchase more than 70% of the electricity generated by three solar power plants that are set to be built outside the regional centres of Wagga Wagga, Corowa and Junee. The amount of energy purchased will be equivalent to 10% of Coles’ national electricity usage.

Coles Solar Panels Australia

Steven Cain, Coles Group’s Chief Executive, said the company was committed to being the most sustainable supermarket in Australia.

“We are thrilled that with this agreement, Coles can make a significant contribution to the growth of renewable energy supply in Australia, as well as to the communities we serve” Steven Cain, Coles Group’s Chief Executive

In the past 2 years Coles has spent over $40 million on sustainable projects and has installed solar panels on 30 stores, with at least another 38 to follow in the next 12 months.

“The growing worldwide movement of large businesses leading the way on renewable energy shows that renewables make good business sense” Lindsay Soutar, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Campaigner

The new solar plants in New South Wales are expected to support more than 250 jobs in regional NSW.

Construction is scheduled to begin in September and the plants are expected to commence supplying power to the grid in July 2020.

Other well-known brands such as Commonwealth Bank, Telstra, Bunnings, Harvey Norman, Ikea and JB Hi-Fi are also making the transition into renewable energy in a way to reduce operating costs and lower emissions.

 

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.
 

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