We have made a public commitment to halve our carbon footprint by 2020. Through investments in renewable and sustainable energy we can reach this target and reduce our store energy bills.
A range of renewable energy technologies are being considered and installed across our sites including solar panels, ground source heat pumps, combined heat & power plants (CHP), biomass and wind turbines.
How the issue was tackled
Wind power is an important contributor to the energy mix we are creating. Vertical axis wind turbines, as opposed to the traditional horizontal axis of 3 blade turbines, have unique characteristics that enable them to be installed in the vicinity of supermarkets and in urban environments. For example, they produce noise free energy. Their aerodynamic design also allows the turbine to generate electricity regardless of the direction of the wind.
A vertical axis wind turbine has been installed at Tesco Newton Aycliffe, and feedback has been very positive to date. A further 27 turbines have been consented on 24 other sites. These sites have been selected because they are in high wind speed areas and are too close to residential areas for any other form of turbine.
A wide range of turbines will be installed; from 1kW roof-mounted turbines to 2,000kW (2MW) freestanding models. We have selected the largest turbine possible for each site, based on suitability.
The suitability of each Tesco site for wind power was assessed by considering, amongst others, the following factors:
- Wind speeds at the site
- Visual and landscape impacts
- Impact on local wildlife
- Proximity to local residents
- Noise impacts
Benefits and impacts
By installing Vertical Axis Wind Turbines we are achieving the following benefits:
- The turbines have a unique feature in that they will continuously rotate in all adverse weather conditions (unlike propeller type machines), and are safe at wind speeds in excess of 200 mph.
- These machines are designed to cope with turbulent wind conditions, which is a primary factor limiting the output of any normal 3 blade design.
- They produce noise free energy in an urban environment
- They produce sustainable electricity that feeds directly into the store
- They are totally maintenance free
- These turbines begin to spin in very low wind speed ( from 5 mph – very light breeze)
- Each turbine generates £610 of electricity in its first year, or 5300kWh – the average electricity use of 1.5 UK homes
- There are no ongoing maintenance requirements
- This excludes any potential income from renewable grants.
- Savings based on 7.2p/kWh electricity (N.B. electricity costs are rising to over 8p/kWh next year)
- ROC value of 4.5p/kWh are included.
- Savings are also based on an average wind speed of 6ms-1
- Project is fully rolled out within 5 months
Measurement of Success:
- The major benefits above are being tracked by sub-metering the electrical production of the wind turbine.
- Customers will have a greater awareness of Tesco commitment to renewable energy.
- A small in store education display will be introduced in each store.
- This project will ultimately represent the single largest roll-out of micro wind installations in the UK retail sector so far.
- The total carbon saved by this project is: 61.53 tonnes / annum.
- The total embodied carbon of these projects is 87 tonnes – based on total weight concrete and steel used in the production and installation of these units.
- Carbon payback = 1.4 years.
Advice to others
This type of turbine is ideal for urban environments and more likely to get planning permission because it is silent. You can also mount hoardings on the pole underneath the turbines which ensures you get maximum value.
- Contractor does not deliver to programme
- Roll-out takes longer than expected
Tesco's corporate responsibility review 2007
Tesco's corporate responsibility review 2008
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