In August, one of the biggest solar power plants in Finland will be built on the roof of the Veturi shopping centre in Kouvola, strengthening the environmental responsibility of Veturi’s operations and generating electricity for the K-Citymarket located on the premises. The shopping centre will only need to use district heat in very cold weather.
Veturi’s solar power plant will have 3,339 solar panels and it will generate electricity at a maximum power of 902kWp for the K-Citymarket located in the shopping centre.
”Veturi has been built based on the principles of sustainability, and our aim is to continuously develop energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly operations. For heating the shopping centre, we utilise geothermal heat and condensation heat from the store refrigeration systems, and we only need to use district heat when the weather drops significantly below zero degrees. In the summer, the energy produced using Veturi’s geothermal heat system can be utilised in cooling. Building a solar power plant is a natural next sept for us as we strengthen the environmental responsibility of Veturi’s operations and increase our self-sufficiency in energy production,” says CEO Harri Holmström from Mercada, which owns Veturi.
Veturi is the biggest shopping centre in Southeast Finland. Originally built by Kesko in 2012, it is now owned by Mercada Oy, which owns, manages and develops store sites mainly used by K Group. The solar power plant will be provided by Solarigo Systems Oy together with Kesko.
Solar power is an excellent source of electricity for food stores, as the stores tend to consume the most electricity – for cooling and refrigeration equipment – when it is sunny and the plants’ production is at its highest.
Solar power plants have long lifecycles of up to 35 years. Power is generated also when it is cloudy and during winter. Solar panels installed on the rooftops of K-food stores cover around 10-15% of the stores’ annual electricity consumption. On a sunny summer day, solar power can cover as much as 60% of a food store's consumption at that time.
”As K Group is the most sustainable trading sector company in the world, using and investing in renewable energy fits our values and goals. The solar power plants built at our store sites are an essential part of operations in line with Kesko’s energy strategy,” says Jukka Anttila, Construction and Maintenance Director for K Group.
K Group is the largest producer and user of solar power in Finland. The first solar power plant located on top of a K-food store was built in 1997 in Tampere. Currently there are 26 solar power plants on K-store rooftops, with a total of 32,204 solar panels. Their combined maximum power is nearly 10 MWp. More solar plants are under construction.
Jukka Anttila, Construction and Maintenance Director, K Group, tel. +358 50 61978
Harri Holmström, CEO, Mercada, tel. + 358 40 8455726
Pekka Härkönen, Sales Director, Solarigo, tel. +358 40 5432327
Kesko and K-retailers form K Group, whose sales total €13 billion. K Group is the third largest retail operator in northern Europe and it employs some 42,000 people. Kesko operates in the grocery trade, the building and technical trade and the car trade. Its divisions and chains act in close cooperation with retailer entrepreneurs and other partners. Kesko's net sales total €10 billion and it employs approximately 25,000 people. Kesko has some 1,800 stores engaged in chain operations in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus and Poland. Kesko is a listed company and its shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. The company's domicile and main premises are in Helsinki. Kesko is the world's most sustainable trading sector company (The Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World). www.kesko.fi