YAMBA Coles has gone green, with the store now boasting enough solar panels to power 14 average Australian homes for a year.

Installation of 291 new panels was finished this week, and the array that spans 591 square metres can generate 140,600 kilowatt hours of electricity per year – reducing the store’s environmental footprint and keeping energy costs down.

Coles Yamba store manager Christopher Aslin said the new solar power system would help reduce the store’s environmental footprint and operating costs.

“The new solar panels generate enough electricity to offset 7 per cent of my store’s power consumption, helping to reduce our energy costs so we can continue to offer customers great value,” he said.

“We’ve also recently installed LED lighting and have optimised our store refrigerators, so solar panels are just the next step in running our Yamba store as sustainably as possible.

“Our landlord Clarence Property have been very supportive of us installing the new 99-kilowatt system on our store.”

Coles chief property and export officer Thinus Keevé said the solar panel program was an important part of the Coles’ commitment to be Australia’s most sustainable supermarket and reduce its environmental impact.

“By implementing sustainability measures such as solar panels on our supermarkets, we’ve managed to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 6 per cent over the past financial year and by more than 35 per cent since 2009,” Mr Keevé said.

“We have plans to install solar panels on 38 stores this financial year and we will be working with our landlords and property developers in the months ahead to identify further locations suitable for on-site solar power generation.”