Massmart Launches Sixth Solar Plant Becoming the Biggest Producer of Renewable Energy in the South African Retail Sector

Makro Strubens Valley in Gauteng became the sixth Massmart store to make use of renewable energy. The store has a 480 kilowatt (kWh) peak plant that consists of 1476 car park-mounted polycrystalline PV panels. The plant provides nearly half of the stores daily energy requirements and is estimated to provide 24% of the stores total annual energy consumption.

The Group’s first solar plant went live in 2016 at Makro Carnival in Brakpan, Gauteng. Today, Massmart has a total of six solar plants and together they have the capacity to generate approximately 4.4 million kWh of renewable energy a year. This makes Massmart the biggest producer of renewable energy in the South African retail sector.

Massmart Sustainability Executive Alexander Haw says “The rollout of commercially-viable renewable energy solutions at selected stores is in line with a broader commitment to reduce the Group environmental footprint.”

Since 2010 Massmart has been greening a significant amount of stores and distribution centres with the aim of minimising its environmental footprint and reducing costs. The Group has achieved this by ensuring that energy efficiency and water conservation remain a key priority.

Massmart’s water conservation methods involve the capture and reuse of rain water from stores roofs and condensate from refrigeration plants. Through these efforts, in the past three years alone, the Group has saved more than 50 million litres of water and produced approximately 4 million kWh of renewable energy.

Haw concludes “Water and energy insecurity is a growing concern in South Africa. Not only are we amongst the world’s 30 driest countries, we are also among the top 20 energy intensive countries. That is why we are intent on materially lessening the Group’s collective footprint through reusing water and reducing our energy consumption.”

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