Supermarket chain Asda is to try out wind turbines, solar panels and ground source heat pumps at a £20m store in Merseyside
The 40,000 ft² Bootle scheme, which goes on site later this year, will also include timber frame, timber cladding, sunpipes to cut down on electric lighting, a biomass boiler and efficient glass-fronted fridges. It will not use natural gas and has a target of reducing energy use by 15%.
Asda intends to achieve a 30% energy reduction on two further trials over the next two years.
Bob Simpson, Asda's head of sustainable construction, said: "From the three trial projects, we'll learn a great deal and roll it out to the rest of our stores." He said Asda would aim to reduce consumption across its stores 20% over the next seven years.
Asda is responding to a speech made by Lee Scott, chief executive of the supermarket's US parent Wal-Mart, last October. This promised that in future all the group's energy would come from renewable sources.
Sustainability has also become a key battleground for the British supermarket giants, who are facing an inquiry by the Competition Commission into their impact on local communities. Last month, Tesco announced that it would halve the amount of energy used in its stores by 2010.