Tesco is planning to install solar panels on 187 of its sites. Image: Martin Bodman.

The SDCL Energy Efficiency Income Trust (SEEIT) has announced that power production has begun at its first two rooftop solar photovoltaic system installations at Tesco sites.

The projects at the supermarkets in Huntingdon and Lewes have achieved first power generation and are now generating revenues for SEEIT. They are part of the company’s seed portfolio of rooftop solar PV projects for Tesco, which were first officially announced when the companies signed a PPA in June.

Jonathan Maxwell, CEO of SDCL, said he was “delighted” that the projects had started generating power.

“Having only entered into the agreement in June, to have begun generating power and revenue within six months is a real achievement. We are excited about continuing to work with Tesco and Kingspan as further sites are completed as part of the framework agreement.”

SEEIT has partnered with Kingspan Energy for the project, which is acting as the Engineering, Operation and Construction contractor as well as the Operation and Maintenance contractor.

TKingspan’s managing director Marci Bonham said that as the UK looked to transition to a low-carbon economy “it is vital that big businesses lead the way”.

“It is great to see Tesco take such positive action, and we are thrilled to work alongside SEEIT on this ambitious, large-scale project, supporting them with our energy solutions and expertise.”

In total SEEIT will install around 5MW of rooftop solar for Tesco, with an initial tranche of 1MW.

The projects form part of a much wider project by Tesco, which includes the installation of solar panels on 187 of its sites covering 335,000m2. On top of the rooftop installations, the supermarket’s project will also include a ground-mounted solar farm and five onshore wind farms.

Alongside SEEIT, companies including EDF Renewables and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group are included in the wider project. The prior will provide 60MW of power for Tesco, in a deal that includes 17 roof mounted solar installations, whilst the latter is providing and operating solar panels on 20 of its sites.