A sunny outlook: PV panels create huge power savings at Makro’s Carnival store

Makro Carnival Energy Conservation Project

Runner-up: Energy Efficiency And Carbon Management Award


When constructing the newest and biggest Makro store to date, the decision was made to create an energy-efficient building that could lead the way and provide a game plan for further Makro stores.

With solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on its roof, the Carnival store is expected to produce approximately a million kilowatts of electricity per annum. It is estimated that the PV installation will account for 60-80% of the building’s electricity needs during the day, and 30% of the store’s total annual energy requirement.

“The plant has a peak capacity of 572kW, making it among the largest solar installations located at a standalone retail store,” says Massmart group sustainability manager Alex Haw.

“Implementing PV at our Makro Carnival store underlines our commitment to reducing our environmental footprint,” says Alan Walker, Makro SA’s store development manager. “Since 2010 we have been greening our stores with the aim of saving energy, reducing running costs, improving the in-store environment and customer shopping experience. We achieve this by ensuring that all new stores are sustainably developed and that older stores are retrofitted with a variety of energy management technologies and systems.”

To further minimise Makro Carnival’s impact on the environment, the store has implemented various other green technologies that will reduce overall water and energy consumption, and ultimately result in cost savings. These include installing daylight harvesting, lighting controllers, energy-efficient lighting, heat reclaim facilities, thermal storage systems as well as condensate and rainwater harvesting.

“In our new stores our energy efficient interventions are focused around four key areas: lighting, refrigeration, air conditioning and building envelope management,” says Walker.

Makro has also invested in an energy-efficient refrigeration solution with the latest energy saving features; automated night blinds; high-speed doors and better insulation has been installed to reduce heat loss. This refrigeration solution also uses carbon dioxide, which is 100% natural, is zero ozone depleting and has a global warming potential rating of 1.

The PV installation contributes toward reducing the store’s Scope 2 emissions: a reduction of 1 000 tonnes of CO2 per annum is expected. This accounts for an estimated saving of 30% compared to similar CO2 refrigeration. There is also reduction of emissions and onsite waste separation has been introduced.

In addition, 500 permanent jobs and a further 3 000 temporary jobs were generated as a result of the construction phase of the project. To date, Makro has the lowest publicly reported energy intensity in the South African retail sector. 

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