Currently under construction in the town of East Cowes, Isle of Wight, is the island’s new 18,000 square foot Waitrose supermarket, which, when completed, could be fully powered by biomass.
The retailer has submitted a planning application to the local council and if this is approved the new Waitrose will have permission to convert an electricity substation into a biomass plant. The facility would then provide the supermarket with, electricity, heating and cooling needs.
Although all of Waitrose’s stores utilise green energy, this will be the first to be fully powered by biomass. The biomass boiler will utilise wood chips from various managed woodlands throughout the Isle of Wight.
A spokesperson for Waitrose said: ‘This will be a trial period. The eco version is for a Waitrose store that requires no electricity or gas from the grid for its operation, powered by wood chips from managed sources…The carbon footprint of the store will be better than zero with a further net saving of around 1,900 tonnes of CO2 per annum.
According to Waitrose, the surrounding area will also benefit from the plant, as it will have the ability to provide heating to parts of nearby development areas.