Builders Warehouse Midrand in Gauteng became the 11th Massmart store to make use of renewable energy. The store has a 110 kilowatt (kWh) peak plant with the capacity to produce about 200 000 kWh per annum. The plant provides over 30% of the stores daily energy requirements, achieving up to 100% at certain times of the day.
The first Massmart solar plant went live in 2016 at Makro Carnival in Brakpan, Gauteng. Today, with a total of 11 solar plants the Group has an annual generating capacity of 7.2 million kWh/p.a., which is among the highest solar generating capacity in the South African retail industry.
In an effort to accelerate the introduction of renewables across the business, a group-wide solar feasibility assessment was conducted in 2020. As a result of this assessment, the we have tiered sites based on their suitability for solar installations and are targeting a two-phased roll out of a further 30 solar installations over the next three years.
Group Sustainability Vice President Alexander Haw says: “we recognise that reducing our emissions by transitioning to renewable energy alternatives is crucial to mitigating our climate change impacts.”
Since 2010, we have been greening a significant amount of stores and distribution centres with the aim of minimising our environmental footprint and reducing costs. In October 2020 the Makro Cornubia solar plant became the first to be back-up generator integrated, which assists in reducing generator wear and tear and diesel consumption during grid outages.
Haw concludes “Similar generator integration retrofits have been completed at six existing solar sites. Based on historic load shedding information we estimate that Massmart will realise diesel cost savings of approximately R1 million a year from this retrofit.”