Boost for Sainsbury’s on-site heat and power plans

UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has revealed plans to partner with British Gas and heat pump technology firm Geoscart to roll out ground source heating across 100 stores.

Geoscart will store heat produced by fridges and chillers underground in subsurface rock for use in the store’s heating system when required. This heat ” which would otherwise be lost – is transported to an underground vault through a series of pipes and the technology is expected to cut energy consumption by more than 30%, its backers claim.

Paul Crewe, Head of Sustainability, Engineering & Energy at Sainsbury’s, said:à‚ ‘We’re delighted to be leading the way on this groundbreaking technology ” helping to reduce energy use and carbon.’

Grahame Newton, CEO of Geoscart, added:à‚ ‘We developed the baseline technology from the oil and gas sector and have successfully applied it to the retail-consumer space. We are looking forward to rolling out the technology to a wider audience with the help of our operational partners.’

The move comes just days after the retail giant announced that it has secured a à‚£200 million ($338 million) corporate ‘green’ loan to invest in on-going carbon reduction and sustainability projects. Whilst Green Bonds are now increasingly issued by institutions to support environmental and sustainable initiatives, this is the first time that a commercial loan has been structured to do the same, the company says.

Lloyds and Rabobank acted as Joint Green Arrangers with Rabobank acting as Sole Mandated Lead Arranger. à‚ John Rogers, chief financial officer of Sainsbury’s explained that the loan will be used to fund clean energy generation, energy efficiency and water saving projects over a period of two to three years under the banner of its Project Graphite programme.

The scheme is focused on improving energy efficiency in existing stores and investing in on-site renewable energy. It includes measures such as producing renewable heat from ground source heat pumps and biomass boilers plus installing photovoltaic solar panels on roofs and petrol stations.

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