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.