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Industry NewsLoblaw strikes carbon-free electricity deal in Alberta

Loblaw strikes carbon-free electricity deal in Alberta

Loblaw Companies Limited says it’s the first in Canada to purchase electricity from Alberta generated by wind, sun and water.

The chain says it plans to purchase the carbon-free electricity for its supermarkets, drugstores, offices and distribution centres in Alberta.

This program will eliminate the carbon emissions associated with the company’s electricity purchases in Alberta, while cutting its nationwide enterprise operating emissions by 17%.

As a result of this program, Loblaw says one day soon, carbon-free electricity will be used to power over 280 locations, including Real Canadian Superstore, Shoppers Drug Mart, No Frills, Real Canadian Liquor Store, Independent and Wholesale Club stores, as well as the company’s offices and distribution centres. This energy purchase will provide over 300,000 megawatt hours of carbon-free energy every year – enough to power the homes in a city like Lethbridge, Alberta – and save the equivalent of up to 180,000 metric tons of carbon emissions from being released into the atmosphere.

“Loblaw has been actively reducing its carbon emissions for over a decade, consistently exceeding its own ambitious targets. Last year, when we raised those targets to become net zero by 2040, we knew we would need some breakthrough innovation to reach our goal,” says Galen G. Weston, chairman and president, Loblaw Companies Limited. “This project delivers that by turning our highest carbon emitting energy market into our lowest, in one single step. Today’s announcement is a powerful example of private industry working together to bring scaled change to the energy transition.”

Loblaw is making this purchase from TC Energy, a company that has put together Alberta’s first product to make carbon-free energy available round-the-clock. As such, TC Energy either owns, operates, or has access to carbon-free renewable energy generation and large-scale energy storage facilities.

This product solves the renewable energy intermittency challenge: what to do when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine. With this approach, carbon-free energy is generated by solar panels and wind turbines that capture energy from the elements and feed it into Alberta’s electrical grid – which powers Loblaw stores, offices and distribution centres.  A pumped-hydro energy storage station circulates water up and downhill to store and generate carbon-free power when wind and solar power are not available, creating a carbon-free energy available 24/7. 

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