Sainsbury’s has announced that it is working with key partners, including Geothermal International, to roll out an innovative energy solution to up to 100 stores, tapping renewable energy from deep underground to provide heating and hot water.
Both new-build and existing stores have been identified as part of the project, which will see Geothermal International (in partnership with Octopus Investments) providing the upfront investment to install and operate the pioneering geo-thermal heat pump technology. This follows Sainsbury’s successful world-first use of geo-thermal technology at its Crayford store, using innovative systems designed by thermal energy specialist Greenfield Energy, enabling it to supply 30 per cent of its energy from on-site renewable sources.
The scheme aims to deliver up to 100MW of renewable energy sources in supermarkets by the end of 2016. It’s also part of Sainsbury’s 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan renewables commitment which includes reducing its absolute operational carbon emissions by 30 per cent by 2020 and delivering a fully renewable heat strategy for its supermarkets by 2030.
Neil Sachdev, Sainsbury’s Property Director, said: “We are continuing to lead the way in environmental firsts. We were the world’s first to use geo-thermal technology in a supermarket to tap natural, renewable energy trapped 600 feet under the ground. We’ve also reduced our absolute electricity usage in supermarkets by over nine per cent in the past four years despite an increase in space.
“The roll out of this technology with our partners is an important milestone in our renewables commitment. It supports job creation in the renewable energy sector and our goal to reduce our absolute operational carbon emissions by 2020, as well as delivering energy cost savings for our business.”
Geothermal International (GI) is one of theUK’s leading ground source heat pump businesses. It is working in partnership with investment firm Octopus Investments, to support the growth of the renewables energy market in theUK. GI CEO, Brian Davidson, agrees that long-term investment in this technology is the way forward: “GI has been at the forefront of the renewable sector since it launched in 2000. Not only is this long-term contract an important win for GI, it will also enable Sainsbury’s to achieve energy efficiency benefits from day one as well as seeing a considerable improvement in its carbon footprint.”
Sainsbury’s ambition through its collaboration with Geothermal International is to have up to 100MV of renewable energy sources in up to 100 Sainsbury’s supermarkets by the end of 2016.