Tesco PLC is Britain’s largest retailer with 2,653 UK stores, 460,000 Group employees and Group sales of £49.9bn.
Energy is essential to maintain the retail environment and to ensure refrigerated and frozen product quality. To meet the demand for energy in its stores and with a zero carbon emissions target by 2050 the retailer looked for cost-effective solutions to meet these aims.
In 2006, with an aim of halving the carbon emissions of all its new UK buildings and stores by 2020, Tesco PLC turned to Veolia to help it implement a large scale Combined Heat and Power (CHP) programme. Working in partnership with Tesco’s own Sustainability Team, Veolia provided the application expertise to assess the energy demand of a number of stores and recommended the best solution to meet each site’s energy requirements and retail operations.
Starting with the large Tesco stores in Swansea and Camarthen, Veolia provided the design and build services to install new CHP units to produce electricity and heating. Following commissioning, the Veolia CHP team provided a wide range of operation, maintenance and energy reporting services to support the Tesco management team. The cost and carbon saving results were significant. They really demonstrated that CHP could be effectively used to supply the energy needs of large supermarkets and meet the changing demands of a site with different opening hours.
Following the successes achieved with these units, the retailer’s use of CHP has continued to expand and the company now has Veolia CHP units on 93 sites covering 2,933 acres of retail space across the UK. These units ranging between 70kWe to 600kWe now give a total installed capacity of 17.3 MWe, and support Tesco’s energy needs by delivering secure, low carbon supplies of electricity and heat.
Some sites at mixed-use developments have CHP units that also supply district heating schemes serving both a Tesco store and local homes. These units provide low carbon, affordable heat to hundreds of private residents.
Veolia’s technical support has ensured that each site gets a tailored solution that can deliver the energy needs of each location so that the optimum efficiency and energy cost savings are achieved at the same time as guaranteeing energy delivery.