In Fenouillet, suburb of Toulouse, the LIDL supermarket of the Route de Paris is not like the others.
It’s the first positive energy outlet in the group: it produces more energy than it does consume ! This is a perfect realization of the ambitions of EQUANS and LIDL partnership that has been going on for 20 years to ensure the cold chain safety in the stores, and to reduce as well the carbon footprint of the new projects and the renewals of existing installations.
2% of the carbon footprint
In France, LIDL opened its first supermarket in 1988. Since then, this major food retailer has developed remarkably : today it runs 1570 supermarkets in France and employs more than 44000 people.
As for the contract with EQUANS, three major issues had to be addressed for each retail point : increase the reliability of the cold chain (essential in food distribution), lower the carbon impact of the refrigerant fluid (since 2018, all refrigeration equipments use propane as a natural refrigerant fluid), control the consumptions and lower the dependance on energy distributors by producing its own electricity with photovoltaic.
In the specialized press, Jean-Baptise Léger, LIDL CSR and Public Affairs Manager, said in 2020 that “the products we sell make up 98% of our carbon footprint. The remaining 2%, a little less than 400 000 tons, correspond to our operational perimeter, i.e. logistics, wastes, energy or transports. It’s precisely on those fields that we‘ve got the best opportunity to act. »
High yielding installation
EQUANS France has already 22000 customers in the refrigeration sector and its teams design customized solutions, adapted to the mass retail sector over the whole life cycle of their installations : conception, installation, compliance, facility management and energy performance. To improve the productivity and the profitability of the refrigeration system, customized remote supervision tools have even been designed to make it simpler to manage them.
EQUANS France has assisted LIDL in the installation of :
- A solution using the natural fluid "propane" whose GWP (Global Warming Potential, i.e. the impact of a refrigerant liquid in terms of global warming) is 3.
- Closed refrigeration units with glass doors
- An optimized regulation according to the needs and the outside temperature.
- A strict compliance with food safety and people security.
The production of cold is therefore delivered by a high yielding installation, using strictly natural fluids. Finally, in addition to its refrigeration solutions, EQUANS France designs, builds and maintains solar panels, set on supermarkets roofs, in order to develop their self-consumption of renewable energy.
Most of the time, they make up 60% of the store’s energy needs. On the pilot site of Fenouillet, for instance, this amounts to 100%, thanks to 1577 square meters of roof equipped, for an estimated annual production of 433 MWH. A project of energy storage to recover 100% of the photovoltaic production is also being explored by the EQUANS teams.