Photos: Pauliina Anttila Photography
A 401 kWp solar power plant with 1,431 solar panels and an annual production of 326 megawatt hours of pure solar electricity will be built on the rooftop of K-Citymarket Mäntsälä.
“The electricity produced by the solar power plant will cover more than half of the annual consumption of the store’s refrigeration units. All electricity consumed by K-Citymarket Mäntsälä comes from renewable sources: in addition to the solar power produced by its own solar power plant, the store uses 100% renewable electricity supplied by Kesko,” says K-Citymarket Mäntsälä’s retailer Ilari Kontsas.
K-Citymarket Mäntsälä feels it is important to also offer an opportunity to its customers to make sustainable choices.
“The store’s parking lot is equipped with a fast-charging station where our customers, while they do their shopping, can conveniently charge their electric cars with electricity produced by wind power. Sustainability is also an aspect of our product range. At our store we have, for example, an MSC-certified fish counter, which promotes sustainable fishing,” Kontsas says.
The municipality of Mäntsälä wishes to act as a green example and encourage companies and residents in the municipality to use renewable energy.
“The solar power plant at K-Citymarket Mäntsälä will markedly increase the renewable energy produced in our municipality. In Mäntsälä, we consider renewable energy to be an important choice, and the municipality of Mäntsälä will purchase renewable electricity from its own energy company,” says Esko Kairesalo, Municipal Manager of Mäntsälä.
47,000 solar panels produce electricity for the stores
In recent years, K Group has invested heavily in solar power and has seven new power plants under construction at the moment. By the end of the year, the total output of K Group’s solar power plants will be around 13.5 MWp and the power generation capacity around 11.4 GWh.
“Solar power is ideal for the trading sector, because electricity consumption at food stores, just like the production of solar power plants, is at its highest on sunny summer days. As it is necessary to ensure the cold chain of products, stores need more electricity in the summer than an office building, for example. The opportunity to install a solar power plant will be investigated at all the new stores we build,” says Matti Kalervo, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility at K Group.
K Group’s aim is to be carbon neutral in 2025
K Group’s targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which were updated in spring 2020, are ambitious: K Group aims to be carbon neutral in 2025 and reduce emissions from its own operations to zero by 2030.
The key method for achieving the targets is to increase the use of renewable energy. All electricity purchased by Kesko for use at K-stores and other Kesko properties in Finland has been produced with renewable energy since the beginning of 2017.
In spring 2020, K Group announced that it will increase the amount of renewable energy by also purchasing wind power for the next 15 years from a new wind power plant to be built in Finland. Owing to this, K Group’s own production of renewable energy will increase six-fold by the end of 2022.