Major retailers in the UK are going all-in on cleantech, with Tesco the latest firm to commit to solar power, after plans to install PV panels on its superstores across the country were revealed.

Solar Power Portal, the publication that made the discovery, reports that Tesco superstores in Nottingham, Lewisham, Sheerness, Martlesham and Yeovil have made planning applications to install solar on the roofs of their buildings.

The move follows Sainsbury’s decision to install solar on more than 200 of its UK sites, which has yielded a generation portfolio in excess of 41MW. The supermarket has also trialled battery storage in recent years.

Aldi and Marks & Spencer have also both committed to large solar deployment programmes, the latter having installed the country’s largest rooftop solar installation at its Castle Donington distribution centre in 2015.

Meanwhile, online retail giant Amazon has filed planning applications to install rooftop solar PV on at least three of its UK-based fulfilment centres, with just under 3MW of commercial rooftop solar in the pipeline.

Tesco’s proposals follow a commitment in 2017 to derive 100% of its power for its UK operations from renewable sources. Around that time, the supermarket shook hands on a deal with Volkswagen and Pod Point to install 2,400 electric vehicle charge points at its stores over the next three years.

The latest plans are not the supermarket’s first foray into solar, having utilised the feed-in-tariff to install the technology on select properties. But the new applications suggest the retailer is now ramping up its efforts, despite a lack of details on the system size or component suppliers.

Once the solar is up and running, Tesco is set to benefit from significantly reduced overheads and a radically reduced carbon footprint, helping it to come good on its green energy commitment.

Zestec’s financial backing and innovative 10-25 year solar PPA funding schemes enables us to deliver high volume solar pv solutions across an entire network of unutilised roof space without the requirement of any capital outlay for our clients. Best of all, we can do this at pace and and without any requirement or reliance on Government subsidies.

To hear more about our work with large, multi-site businesses, call the Zestec team on 01202 862760 or by emailing