The deal will enable Coles to meet 90% of electricity requirements in Queensland from renewable energy starting from July 2022

Coles CleanCo

A Coles supermarket in Benowa, Australia. (Credit: Coles Group.)

Australian supermarkets giant Coles has entered into a 10-year agreement to purchase renewable power from CleanCo, a Queensland-based, state-owned renewable energy developer.

As per the agreement, CleanCo has agreed to supply nearly 400GWh of clean electricity annually to Coles, starting from July 2022.

The power will be generated by the Western Downs Green Power Hub solar plant and the MacIntyre wind farm, one of the largest solar and wind farms, respectively.

To be operational in 2022, the Western Downs Green Power Hub is a 400MW solar plant to be located 22km south-east of Chinchilla. The solar project will be connected to the electricity grid via a new overhead line to Powerlink’s existing Western Downs substation.

When operational, the solar project is expected to generate enough clean energy to power about 235,000 Queensland homes.

The MacIntyre wind farm with 1.026GW of capacity will be located 50km South-West of Warwick. When operational, the wind farm will generate about 700,000 homes.

Coles chief sustainability, property and export officer Thinus Keeve said: “Long-term agreements like this are a great example of how we are able to reduce our energy costs, support the community and make a meaningful impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“The CleanCo and Metka EGN agreements are great examples of how we can grow renewable energy generation capacity in Australia because they give the developers the certainty they need to invest and we look forward to growing our partnerships with renewable energy providers in the future.”

The agreement will enable Coles to reduce its carbon footprint from electricity by an estimated 20% annually

The two projects are expected to supply nearly three quarters of the supermarket giant’s energy needs and the remaining clean energy will come from CleanCo’s low emissions portfolio.

Through the partnership, Coles will reduce its carbon footprint from electricity by an estimated 20% or 240,000 tonnes annually, which is equivalent of taking away 100,000 vehicles off the road.

Along with the two projects, CleanCo’s another project Karara wind farm is expected to create about 800 local jobs in Queensland’s Western and Southern Downs.

Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said: “We have already made changes throughout our business to use energy more efficiently, which has enabled us to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 36.5% since 2009, while growing our team member base and store network.”