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Grand Marché stores could become solar hubs

Grand Marché stores could become solar hubs

Wednesday 07 June 2023

Grand Marché stores could become solar hubs

Wednesday 07 June 2023

The Co-op is developing plans for solar panel installations on its Grand Marché stores in St. Helier and St. Peter, according to the supermarket chain's CEO.

Mark Cox said that the Co-op was "keen to do more", having already installed panels on the roofs of its premises in Grouville, Five Oaks and Trinity – generating around 52 megawatts annually.

"We have two big schemes in planning at the moment," he continued, revealing that this included designs for solar panels on the roofs of the company's Grand Marché stores in St. Helier and St. Peter – which could be implemented before the end of the year.

His comments came shortly after an islander suggested on Twitter that solar panels installed in car parks could be a beneficial use of the land, "especially on a tiny island where space is at a premium".

However, Mr Cox said that it was "much more cost-effective to use existing support structures and under-utilised spaces".

"As soon as you start to add new structures it increases the cost significantly," he added.

His comments were reflected by Environment Minister Jonathan Renouf, who said that solar panels in car parks were "perhaps not the best idea, and not cost-effective".

Jonathan Renouf.jpg

Pictured: Environment Minister Jonathan Renouf said solar panel installations in car parks were "not the best idea".

"We’re looking at the potential on government buildings which is something we can directly control. The argument I saw was whether we should do it in car parks because there is lots of open space, but the number of sites where that might be appropriate in Jersey would be very few," he continued.

"For example, you would need [an area with] very little shade. There’s potential for that sort of thing, but you have to ask yourself where to do that.

"It feels to me like there’s not huge public appetite to cover loads of fields with solar panels," he added.

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