Solar power plants at K-store locations are an essential part of Kesko's recently updated energy strategy.
"All electricity purchased and used by Kesko in Finland is renewable. As we are the most sustainable trading sector company in the world, using and investing in renewable energy fits our values and goals," says Jukka Anttila, K Group's Construction and Maintenance Director.
Solar power is an excellent source of electricity for stores, as stores tend to consume the most electricity – for cooling and refrigeration equipment – when it is sunny and the plants' production is at its highest. This enables the stores to fully utilise the electricity produced with solar power. For example, the Onninen Mega Express store in Koivuhaka in Vantaa has 390 solar panels on its rooftop, which provide nearly all the electricity used in the building.
Latest solar panel technology in K-Supermarket Pohjois-Haaga in Helsinki
In autumn 2018, K Group has 27 solar power plants in operation, and new ones under construction. Recently completed plants can be found in K-Supermarket Pohjois-Haaga in Helsinki and the Veturi shopping centre in Kouvola, and at K Group’s central warehouse in Hakkila in Vantaa. The plants in Kouvola and Hakkila are among the biggest individual solar power plants in Finland.
The plant in Pohjois-Haaga uses the latest Finnish technology, with solar panels that rotate with the sun, which increases productivity by some 40%.
Finns are interested in producing their own electricity
K Group has been utilising solar power for more than two decades. Over the past few years, companies and consumers in Finland have become increasingly interested in solar power. The growing demand for solar power equipment and systems has also been identified at K Group company Onninen.
"The demand for solar power-related products and systems has increased significantly over the past three years. It's a great idea to produce your own electricity now that it has become financially viable with solar power," says Ilkka Viita, who heads the sales of ventilation, energy and refrigeration products at Onninen.
Finnish solar power production in 2017 totalled approximately 26.3 GWh.