19 December 2018: Young has become the first Woolworths in Australia to introduce solar panels on top of car park shade sails to help cut energy costs and reduce the store’s environmental footprint.
The two solar arrays - made up of 366 high efficiency solar panels spanning 730 square metres - have the capacity to generate more than 185,000 kilowatt hours each year. This is equivalent to 30 Australian households’ annual energy consumption.
The new structures installed at Woolworths Young on Boorowa Street provide shade for 90 cars and will help offset more than 10 percent of the store's energy consumption.
This innovation builds on the installation of LED lights, more efficient refrigeration and air-conditioning in recent years.
Woolworths General Manager for Facilities Management Trent Mason said; "We're proud to roll out an Australian first in the heart of regional New South Wales.
“We know Young has its fair share of hot, sunny days and many of our customers asked for some shade in the car park for this very reason.
“As we looked into building shade sails to keep the sun out, it made sense to explore solar options at the same time.
“The end result is not only a better experience for our customers in Young – it’s also good for the planet and good for business.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Riverina MP Michael McCormack said he was delighted Woolworths chose his home electorate of the Riverina to roll out this forward-thinking and innovative solution, harnessing the sun’s energy.
“Woolworths has developed a local, practical solution to the community’s needs for shade in the car park which has added great value by generating renewable energy from solar panels,” he said.
“This delivers community and commercial benefits and is another example of a simple but significant innovation led by business, which can be replicated throughout our sun-drenched country.”
Woolworths Group has invested $2.7m in energy efficiency projects across 14 stores in the Riverina over the past three years. These investments have formed part of a broader sustainability effort across Woolworths Group, which has delivered a 13 percent reduction in emissions on 2015 levels.