Loblaw Companies Ltd. (TSX: L) stores and distribution centres will now be powered by the sun, water or wind and save the equivalent of up to 180,000 metric tons of carbon emissions from being released into the atmosphere.
The company announced Thursday it has signed a deal to purchase carbon-free electricity to power its operations across Alberta.
The electricity will be purchased from TC Energy Corp. (TSE: TRP) (NYSE: TRP), which developed a carbon-free product to provide renewable energy around the clock. The energy will come from sources like solar panels, wind turbines and pumped-hydro storage, which circulates water to generate power when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.
The company said the arrangement is the first of its kind in Canada and will see the electricity for its supermarkets, drugstores, offices and distribution centres in the province generated entirely by renewable sources like wind, solar and hydro.
Loblaw said the program will eliminate the carbon emissions associated with its electricity use in Alberta and cut its total nationwide operating emissions by 17 per cent.
The company said that as a result, carbon-free electricity will soon power more than 280 locations in Alberta, including Real Canadian Superstore, Shoppers Drug Mart, No Frills and Liquor store outlets. The deal will provide over 300,000-megawatt hours of carbon-free energy annually, enough to power a city the size of Lethbridge.
Loblaw chairman Galen Weston said the company has exceeded its carbon reduction targets for the past decade but knew “breakthrough innovation” would be needed to achieve its goal of net-zero emissions by 2040.
“This project delivers that by turning our highest carbon-emitting energy market into our lowest, in one single step,” Weston said in a statement.
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TC Energy CEO François Poirier said the deal shows the company’s commitment to providing customer-led energy solutions. He said TC Energy’s team developed Canada’s first-ever 24/7 carbon-free energy product to help Loblaw slash its emissions.
The energy purchase deal is subject to final approval and parts of the program are expected to start operating in 2025.
Tc Energy is a major North American energy company based in the TC Energy Tower in Calgary that develops and operates energy infrastructure in Canada, the United States and Mexico. TC Energy operates three core businesses: Natural Gas Pipelines, Liquids Pipelines and Energy. The company developed a carbon-free product to provide renewable energy around the clock.