Supermarkets to develop into local energy hubs

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Courtesy of Vital Efficienci Ltd.

Waitrose store opening biomass plant on the Isle of Wight this year could supply heat to local housing.

Supermarkets designed to go ‘off-grid’ may also offer a glimpse into a future where retail outlets act as local energy hubs. A Waitrose store in the Isle of Wight in southern England is due to open a biomass power plant later this year. The Waitrose store will be fuelled by locally sourced woodchips that will supply the building’s electricity, cooling and heating needs. Furthermore, the store has been designed with extra capacity, so as to have the potential to supply heat to local housing and becoming an energy hub.

Energy efficiency measures and onsite renewable technologies are becoming increasingly prevalent in supermarkets around the UK. A biomass boiler, among other technologies, has enabled Sainsbury’s to add an extension to its Durham store while reducing the outlet’s overall carbon emissions. The extension at the Sainsbury's Durham store, that opened last year, added 50% more space to the building, but energy required to run the new larger supermarket fell by 10%.

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