Store pioneers 'revolutionary' green energy system

A Sainsbury's store in Gloucester will open the chain's first "people-powered" store this week using technology which captures energy from vehicles to power its checkouts.

A Sainsbury's store in Gloucester will open the chain's first "people-powered" store this week using technology which captures energy from vehicles to power its checkouts.

In a European first, Sainsbury's will install the invention at its new store which opens this Wednesday. Whenever a vehicle passes over the "kinetic road plates" positioned in the car park, energy is captured which would otherwise be wasted. Sainsbury's will channel the energy back into the store, saving power that would normally be taken from the National Grid.

The kinetic road plates are expected to produce 30kW of green energy an hour, which is more than enough to power the store's checkouts.

The system, pioneered for Sainsbury's by Peter Hughes of Highway Energy Systems, does not affect the car or fuel efficiency, and drivers feel no disturbance as they drive over the plates.

Alison Austin, Sainsbury's environment manager, said: "This is revolutionary. Not only are we the first to use such cutting-edge technology with our shoppers, but customers can now play a very active role in helping make their local shop greener, without extra effort or cost.

"We want to continue offering great value but we also want to make the weekly shop sustainable. Using amazing technology like this helps us reduce our use of carbon and makes Sainsbury's a leading energy-efficient business."

The kinetic road plates are one of a number of energy-saving measures at Sainsbury's green store in the new Gloucester Quays development.

Over two years, the store will harvest enough rainwater to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool, which will be used to flush the store's toilets. Solar thermal panels will heat up to 100% of the store's hot water during the summer, and more than 90% of the construction waste was re-used or recycled.

David Sheehan, director of store development and construction at Sainsbury's, said: "The new environmental features within the Gloucester Quays store mark a very exciting time in store development.

"We are able to use cutting-edge technology to improve our services and the store environment for our customers and colleagues, at the same time as ultimately reducing our carbon footprint across the UK."

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