Energetics helps Woolworths generate on-site renewable energy

Investment in renewable energy technology is an integral component of Woolworths’ commitment to reduce its carbon footprint. Energetics conducted a feasibility assessment of retail sites and distribution centres to identify suitable opportunities for renewable energy generation.

Key Facts

Client: Woolworths Limited
Industry: Retail
Project: Renewable energy
Lead consultant: Andrew Tipping
Energy savings: 15% due to PV panels

Energetics’ technical expertise and strategic advice helped Woolworths identify and implement cost effective renewable energy projects as part of our long term sustainability plan.

Armineh Mardirossian, Woolworths


  • Feasibility study
  • Business case approved by Woolworths
  • 60kW of solar PV installed
  • 2MW wind turbine in development

Our approach

The initial opportunities assessment was focussed on wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies as these are mature, cost competitive in certain circumstances and suitable for the Woolworth property portfolio.

Solar photovoltaic installation

The current ACT government feed-in-tariff (FIT) support provides an excellent opportunity for businesses to install solar PV and achieve a positive financial return as well as carbon savings.

Our feasibility study identified 2 potential petrol station retail outlets with large canopies which could each host a 30kW PV array. With the additional FIT revenue, this project offered an acceptable rate of return and was implemented by Woolworths in March 2010.

The PV panels provide approximately 15% of each sites energy demand which equates to the lighting for the store and the canopy. One of the sites installed crystalline PV and the other was an Australian first using thin film solar technology from First Solar.

On-site Wind energy at Big W Distribution Centre

Energetics assessed Woolworths’ distribution centre portfolio across Australia for on-site wind energy potential. The sites were assessed based on wind speed, physical space, development potential and energy consumption.

The most suitable site for on-site wind generation was the Big W Monarto Distribution Centre in South Australia. A detailed financial model and business case was developed and the project was approved by the Woolworths sustainability committee.

We have enjoyed a long partnership with Woolworths and have delivered a wide range of energy and carbon management strategies and solutions. During the time we have worked with Woolworths we have seen them grow from an awareness of sustainability issues through to the development of a sophisticated carbon reduction plan as part of their broader sustainability strategy.

Tony Cooper, CEO, Energetics

As part of the project development, a meteorological mast for wind monitoring will be installed and other environmental and planning studies will commence shortly.

A single 2MW turbine proposed for the site will provide all of the site’s energy consumption on an annualised basis and avoid the emission of >6000 tCO2-e.