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Tesco USA to Install $13 Million Solar Roof

Tesco, the fourth-largest retail chain in the world, is installing a $13 million solar roof on its five-building, 820,400-square-foot distribution center under construction in Riverside.

“We believe this will be the largest roof-mounted solar installation in California, and possibly the world,” said Tesco USA CEO Tim Mason, who announced in December that Tesco was moving into the U.S. market with the opening its U.S. headquarters in El Segundo, California.

The U.K.-based company has more than 2,800 stores in markets across Central Europe and Asia. Its expansion into the U.S. will begin with store opening this year in Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and Las Vegas.
   
This announcement comes on the day that Tesco’s CEO, Terry Leahy, made a speech in London on the implication of the climate change, where he committed Tesco to being a leader in helping to create a low carbon economy. Mason said the company will set ” a global example by measuring and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, helping to stimulate
the development of low carbon technology (not least by ring-fencing nearly $200m for investment in sustainable technology) and by empowering consumers by providing then with choice, value and information.”

Tesco is the UK’s largest supermarket chain and has a strong environmental record. This month, it began running its 2,000 trucks and vans on a 50 percent biodiesel mix.

The solar roof in Riverside is rated for peak power output of 2 megawatts and it will produce over 2.6 million kilowatt hours per anum, providing nearly a fifth of the depot’s power supply.

The roof was developed by Solar Integrated Technologies of Los Angeles.

By the Numbers:

  • Total square footage of roof space on the two of five distribution center buildings that will be covered by solar panels:  640,000.
  • Total square footage of solar panels:  500,000.
  • Total cost of solar roof installation:  $13 million.
  • Overall investment into the US by Tesco in the next five years: $400 million per annum.
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