Commercial property supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is to partner with E.ON and Geothermal International to roll out the first stage of a ground-breaking energy solution to up to 100 commercial property stores.
The move will see the commercial property supermarket tapping into renewable energy from deep underground to provide energy efficient hot water, heating and cooling.
Both new-build and existing commercial property stores have been identified as part of separate projects with Geothermal International and E.ON.
These projects will see both companies installing and operating revolutionary geo-thermal heat pump technology and follows Sainsbury’s successful world-first use of geo-thermal technology at is Crayford commercial property, enabling it to supply 30 per cent of its energy from on-site renewable sources.
The schemes aim to provide up to 100MW of renewable energy sources in commercial property supermarkets by the end of 2016. They are also part of the commercial property supermarket chains 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan renewables commitment which includes delivering a fully renewable heat strategy for its commercial property supermarkets by 2030 and reducing its entire operational carbon emissions by 30 per cent.
Sainsbury’s Property Director, Neil Sachdev, 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.”
Sachdev further added: “The roll out of this technology with out 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 emissions by 2020, as well as delivering energy cost savings for our business.”
E.ON is working with Greenfield Energy, the thermal energy specialist which developed the technology that was first pioneered at the Sainsbury’s commercial property store in Crayford in south-east London. Its unique borehole designs also allow large-scale installations while using minimal land area.
Managing Director of E.ON’s Sustainable Energy business, Michael Woodhead, said: “We’ve often said the most efficient power station is the one we don’t have to build and this technology is an excellent solution to deliver locally produced, renewable energy at a scale that really makes a difference.”
He further added: “We’re delighted to have signed up for the first ten stores and we hope very much to extend the number of sites to help meet Sainsbury’s environmental ambitions, working together to make the best use of the natural resources on offer.”
The supermarket chain’s other key partner is one of the UK’s leading ground source heat pump commercial property businesses, Geothermal International (GI), which is working in joint venture with investment firm Octopus Investments, to support the growth of the renewables energy market in the UK.
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