Battery-stored solar powers Kingfisher’s first ‘net-zero’ energy store
Home improvement retail giant Kingfisher has unveiled its first UK net-zero energy store, which brings together solar panels, battery storage and air source heat pumps to power operations.
The recently opened Screwfix store in Peterborough will generate as much power as it uses and pass surplus energy back to the grid.
Power at the site is generated by the solar panels during the day, and excess energy used to charge the batteries which power the store in the evening. The air source heat pump has replaced gas and electric heating to heat the store more efficiently.
Kingfisher’s head of energy and renewables Jeremy Parsons hailed the move as a “huge milestone” in the company’s overall goal to become a net-positive business.
“This store has a range of solutions that we have deployed individually across distribution centres and large format stores in the UK and France,” Parsons said.
“Pulling them into one project at Screwfix demonstrates how far we can go towards creating very low-carbon stores, and this approach is informing our next phase of investment in energy projects for the near future.”
Kingfisher last month revealed its new sustainable growth plan, with a headline goal of achieving 50% of the group’s sales by 2020 from products that “actively make customers’ homes more sustainable” – such as LED lighting, insulation and low-flow taps.
The B&Q and Screwfix owner believes that by achieving its headline target, its customers will be able to halve their own energy use and improve their water efficiency by 50% within the next seven years.
The sustainable growth plan sets goals for 2025 and will run alongside Kingfisher’s Net Positive sustainability plan, which incorporates 50 specific targets for 2050, including making every Kingfisher store and customer home zero carbon at least.
Speaking exclusively to edie ahead of the new plan’s launch, the group’s head of sustainability Caroline Laurie said that the 12 new targets would act as a “road-map” to “milestones” along this long-term journey.
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Good to see a company looking at an integrated sustainable energy solution to power a store. Could this be the way ahead for all retail and commercial properties given the vast acreage of roof space generally unused and the energy demand that retail and commercial properties have.
There is still the question of how effective solar panels are in winter when there is less daylight hours and the quality of light is dramatically reduced due to cloud cover, especially in the northern half of the country but every watt that can be generated without burning something is a good thing.
Great example by a corporate and hope we can see more similar investments in products like passivpod and windfarms