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United Kingdom

United Kingdom

On site generation in parking lots

A leading supermarket chain is to install wind turbines at 43 of its stores across the UK. It has signed up north-eastern energy consultancy TNEI in a £1 million deal to develop a range of projects of different sizes. TNEI plans to submit planning applications to install single turbines of between 850 kW to 3 MW in size at 12 sites, of 225 kW to 850 kW at seven sites and turbines of less than 225 kW at a further 24 sites. The retail giant says it is looking for cost effective ways of reducing emissions by generating its own power.

Supermarket chain Tesco is to install wind turbines at 43 of its stores across the UK. It has signed up north-eastern energy consultancy TNEI in a £1 million deal to develop a range of projects of different sizes. TNEI plans to submit planning applications to install single turbines of between 850 kW to 3 MW in size at 12 sites, of 225 kW to 850 kW at seven sites and turbines of less than 225 kW at a further 24 sites. Consent has already been obtained for two 20 kW turbines at Barrow and Crewe; the turbines, sited in Tesco store car parks, are expected to be operational by the end of this year.

The retail giant says it is looking for cost effective ways of reducing emissions by generating its own power. In April it established a £100 million fund to develop sustainable energy projects including wind turbines, solar panels and combined heat and power. Tesco says it is designing model "energy efficient stores" using state of the art technologies, renewables and energy efficient practices. "It is what our customers want and it makes good business sense," says a Tesco spokesman. "We aim to halve energy use by 2010 against a baseline of 2000."

TNEI's Matthew Lumsden says the visibility of the projects on urban sites will raise the profile of wind energy across the country. And there will be more projects to follow, he says, stressing that the company's relationship with Tesco is ongoing as it takes projects through the planning process in the coming few years. A team of five people from TNEI has been working on the contract for six months, assessing all 1500 plus sites owned by Tesco and prioritising those offering the best opportunities for wind installations.

TNEI has also developed small on-site wind projects with Nissan, Pirelli and Glaxo Smith Klein. Lumsden sees huge potential for on-site generation from renewables. The company is now working with major blue chip companies across the country to develop not only wind but other renewables too. The choice of urban or industrial sites for wind turbines means that permit applications proceed far more smoothly through the physical planning process, he adds. "Generating energy close to where it is needed and the intelligent management of that energy will be a critical part of the UK's energy mix," says Lumsden.

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