Axfood AB: announces third major solar power investment

Stockholm / SE. (axf) Sweden’s Axfood AB is continuing to invest in solar power. Axfood’s purchasing and logistics company Dagab is currently installing an additional rooftop solar park encompassing about 30,000 square metres atop its new fruit and vegetable warehouse in Landskrona, which will be completed later this year. As previously announced, Dagab is also building Sweden’s largest rooftop solar power facility at its new logistics centre in Bålsta – to commence operations next year – and Axfood is in the permitting process for building Sweden’s largest onshore solar park.

Once completed, the solar power facility that will be installed at the new nationwide warehouse for fruit and vegetables in Landskrona is expected to generate 3.9 MW when fully operational. This corresponds to annual production of 3.4 GW, equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 570 households and enough to drive an electric car about 400 laps around the globe.

The rooftop solar power facility will comprise about 7,000 panels with a total surface of about 30,000 square metres. The installation of the facility is scheduled for completion in October this year. Next year, Dagab will also commence the operation of Sweden’s largest rooftop facility when the company’s new logistics centre in Bålsta – north of Stockholm – opens. The facility will comprise over 16,000 panels across a surface of about 80,000 square metres and generate approximately 8.9 MW when fully operational, corresponding to annual production of 7.8 GWh.

«These solar power initiatives are part of our investments in green technology within the framework of our logistics facilities. The facility in Landskrona will add an important new source of green energy and support the energy requirements of our operations in the town,» says Nicholas Pettersson, Managing Director of Dagab, Axfood’s purchasing and logistics company.

The investment in the new solar power facility is a collaboration between Dagab, the landlord Logicenters and the supplier Solkompaniet. The project is being carried out as a power purchase agreement (PPA) under which Dagab undertakes to purchase all electricity produced for the next 15 years, while installation, operation and maintenance will be handled by Logicenters and Solkompaniet. Dagab also has the opportunity to sell any surplus production.

Growing need for green electricity but political obstacles remain

To say there is a growing need for green technology is an understatement, but there are obstacles to face.

«We need more green electricity, which makes this and other investments in installing solar panels hugely important. However, the transition to more sustainable energy production is still hampered by the remaining tax on solar energy for own use, despite the fact that there is nothing stopping politicians from abolishing it. Politicians now need to increase the pace of transition efforts so that more players voluntarily invest in sustainable energy production,» says Åsa Domeij, Head of Sustainability at Axfood.

Net zero emissions target

Axfood has worked with solar power since 2013, when its first large-scale solar power facility was built at Dagab’s warehouse in Backa outside Gothenburg. Since then, several stores and warehouses have installed their own solar power facilities and more plan to do so in 2022. Last year, a collaboration was also initiated with the supplier Alight to build Sweden’s largest ground-mounted solar park. The facility is expected to be operational in 2024 and to produce energy corresponding to approximately 15 percent of the Axfood Group’s total consumption. The solar park is part of an initiative by Axel Johnson’s Group companies that would double Sweden’s production capacity from solar parks through the addition of three large-scale facilities.

Reducing the fossil emissions from its own operations has been a priority for Axfood for many years. The results achieved are attributable to renewable electricity from solar, wind and hydro power, a higher share of fossil-free goods transportation, fewer non-environmentally friendly refrigerators and freezers, and less business travel by air. Last year, a milestone was achieved when all of Dagab’s approximately 270 own trucks can now run on fossil-free fuel. The overall goal is to achieve net zero emissions from the company’s own operations by 2030. Several activities are also being carried out to influence the climate impact of other areas of the value chain both among suppliers and among consumers.