Sainsbury’s has harnessed energy from passing vehicles to power the checkouts at its new “green” branch in Gloucester.
The supermarket has installed kinetic road plates in the branch’s car park. Whenever a vehicle drives over the plates, they are pushed down by the vehicle's weight. This creates rocking motions under the road surface that turn generators. The generators create energy which is captured and redirected to the store.
The plates are expected to produce 30kW of energy an hour, enough to power the stores’ checkouts.
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 to 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 new green store also boasts rainwater harvesting, solar thermal panels which heat up all its hot water during the summer months and sun pipes in the roof to allow natural light in and to save energy.
Building Sustainable Design