Tesco will meet the electricity and heating needs of its Goole Distribution Center with a straw-powered Combined Heat and Power plant, which will generate 5 megawatts of electricity, or enough to run eight Tesco stores.
Construction of the plant will begin shortly and be in operation next year.
At the plant, straw will be burnt to power a steam turbine to generate electricity for the distribution center. The electricity is almost carbon neutral because the amount of GHG emitted is around the same amount the straw absorbs while growing, according to Tesco.
The ashes from the process will also be made available for other industries or local farmers to use, and all excess electricity will be sold back to the grid.
The company expects to recoup the $24 million set up costs within six years and halve its 2006 carbon footprint, the equivalent of 17,000 tons of GHG by 2020.
Low-carbon technologies, such as wind turbines are also planned for Tesco distribution center in Daventry.
In other efforts to make its business more environmentally friendly, Tesco labeled 70,000 of its products with carbon counts earlier this year. Many EU grocers followed Tesco’s lead and launched similar carbon labeling initiatives.
Tesco also runs 75 percent of its delivery fleet on biodiesel.