• Under a new energy partnership from July, Woolworths Group will source South Australian renewable electricity from Iberdrola Australia's wind turbines at Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park. Source: Woolworths Group
    Under a new energy partnership from July, Woolworths Group will source South Australian renewable electricity from Iberdrola Australia's wind turbines at Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park. Source: Woolworths Group
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From July, Woolworths Group’s South Australian operations will be powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity, the first state to go completely green in the retailer’s nationwide transition by 2025.

A new South Australian renewable energy partnership will see the retailer’s 70 Woolworths supermarkets, 17 BIG W stores and Adelaide Regional Distribution Centre go green – the equivalent to every home in Brighton and Glenelg switching to green energy.

Under the new partnership from July, Woolworths Group will source South Australian renewable electricity from Iberdrola Australia's wind turbines and solar network at the newly developed Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park, where 50 turbines and 250,000 solar panels will work in tandem to supply approximately 100,000 Megawatt hours of renewable electricity per year on the retailer’s behalf.

The move follows the recent introduction of compostable fruit and vegetable bags in Woolworths’ South Australian supermarkets last month, removing up to 70 tonnes of plastic from landfill annually as the retailer works to grow greener.

South Australia has been the site of a range of retail sustainability advancements in recent years, including:

  • the first state to ban single use plastic bags and picnicware;
  • the home of Woolworths’ strategic paper bag manufacturing partner, Detpak;
  • the onshoring of paper bag production;
  • the first state in which Woolworths replaced plastic fruit and veg bags with a compostable alternative in response to high rates of composting access.

South Australian Premier, Peter Malinauskas said that South Australia had long been a world leader in renewable energy, paving the way for more businesses to switch to clean energy.

"This is the way the world is moving. Private capital is now leading the charge in backing clean energy, which presents a big opportunity for South Australian jobs. Which is why the state government is working to ensure we maintain our position as a national leader on renewable energy,” Malinauskas said.

Woolworths Group CEO, Brad Banducci said the company was excited to use renewable energy generated locally to reduce the footprint of our stores from Roxby Downs to Renmark.

“Our supermarkets are growing greener and South Australia is leading the way, not only on renewable energy but also on plastics, with all our stores switching to compostable fruit and veg bags last month.

“We’re proud to be making tangible changes today that will create a better tomorrow for generations to come and we look forward to building on this in other states over the next three years,” said Banducci.

In its transition to renewable energy, Woolworths Group is prioritising partnerships which draw on new-build renewable projects to help accelerate the industry’s growth and enhance the availability and affordability of green energy to other businesses and the community.

The multimillion dollar nine-year partnership between Woolworths Group and Iberdrola Australia in South Australia supports the development of the Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park, which will be fully energised in the coming months.

Iberdrola Australia managing director and CEO, Ross Rolfe said the Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park was the largest hybrid wind-solar farm in the southern hemisphere.

“It operates as part of Iberdrola Australia’s large and rapidly growing portfolio, providing our customers with electricity supply agreements that are reliable, affordable and clean,” Rolfe said

Woolworths Group will gradually replace traditional energy contracts in other states with green agreements as it transitions to renewable energy nationwide by 2025.

Since 2015, Woolworths Group has cut its carbon emissions by more than 27 per cent through ongoing investment in energy efficiency, including the transition to LED lighting in more than 1000 supermarkets, and the continued rollout of its own solar panel network across the rooftops of stores and distribution centres – now numbering more than 99,000 panels across 171 locations.

Woolworths Group has pledged not only to reach net neutral carbon emissions by 2050, but to make its operations net carbon positive by 2050, removing more carbon from the atmosphere than it produces.

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