Solar panels on the roof cover a quarter of the store’s energy consumption
In an ICA store, the electricity to run the fridge and freezer is a major cost. Christian Olofsson, a shopkeeper at ICA Kvantum in Ystad, got a better equation by putting solar panels on the roof.
– I hate wasting resources, both economically and environmentally, so this feels really good in my heart.
When Christian Olofsson closed his old ICA store in 2013 and built a new one two kilometers away, he got 40 percent more space than the old one. Nevertheless, he managed to reduce his electricity consumption by 30%.
– It became very clear what a difference modern machinery makes when you have as many refrigerators, freezers and ventilation as we do.
But Christian Olofsson was not content with saving electricity compared to before, he also wanted to produce his own. Given that all the machines have to run 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, he wanted to investigate the possibility of installing solar panels on the shop to reduce costs.
– I may be borderline stingy, or rather economical, but I hate wasting resources. We try to take care of the food waste from the store in a good way, we are good at recycling, and to have a big roof with lots of sun on it without making use of it, I did not like that.
A strong commitment to the environment
In addition, Christian Olofsson has a strong commitment to the environment, and had ensured, among other things, that the municipality installed a recycling station at the store, that the green factor was high on both the building and the site, and that customers had the opportunity to charge electric cars while shopping.
– We in Sweden live as if we had four globes of resources, it is clear that this will not work in the long run. It’s all going to go down the drain if we don’t start changing things somewhere, and these may sound like nice words, but I want to do the right thing for my children and grandchildren.
And the conditions for the store to have solar panels are perfect. 4,400 square meters of flat roof with no large trees nearby to obscure it, and located in Ystad where the sun shines a lot.
– I realized it was going to cost me a lot, but at the same time the quote showed that the investment would have paid for itself in less than seven years. I know that my machines and my ventilation will use electricity, these are costs I have day in and day out, and I thought I might as well produce the electricity myself to avoid high electricity bills and at the same time make an effort for the environment. It’s really a no-brainer.
“Margin in the right direction”
In 2019, the solar cell company EnergiEngagemang installed 822 solar panels on top of ICA Kvantum, and in recent years they have supplied electricity that has covered about 26.5% of the store’s energy consumption.
– I was promised 24%, so the margin was in the right direction. And now that you read in the newspaper about the high electricity prices, it doesn’t seem so bad to have solar cells on the roof. I think a lot of shop owners wish they had solar panels in place already today, but I think many will look further into their own solar panels given today’s electricity prices. This pays off in the long run for both the shop and our planet.