Kingfisher, the international home improvement company, has unveiled plans to install energy storage batteries at B&Q’s Swindon, UK, distribution center. The installation is the latest milestone in Kingfisher’s strategic roadmap for sustainable growth to 2025 and moves the company towards its goal of becoming a net positive business by 2050.
B&Q Distribution Center (YouTube)
Solarcentury, Kingfisher’s renewable energy partner, will manage the installation with batteries supplied by Samsung. The system will complement an existing biomass boiler and chipper which will provide renewable heat for the site.
Kingfisher’s Swindon distribution center uses 3.5 MW of power per year on average and is already powered by solar energy from 552 rooftop solar panels. Currently, around 35 percent of the power generated by the solar panels at the site is exported back to the grid as surplus. The energy storage batteries will mean that this energy can be stored and released back to the building to provide power during periods of peak pricing. The timed release of energy can also support its overnight operations, when the solar panels are dormant. The batteries will reduce the site’s grid power consumption by 31 percent, with some days where zero grid energy will be used to power the site.
Christian Mazauric, CEO of B&Q UK & Ireland, said, “The installation of energy storage batteries at the Swindon distribution center marks an important milestone in our and Kingfisher’s commitment to reduce grid energy consumption. UK energy prices aren’t going down. Battery energy storage will help us to better manage the energy we generate on site and will move us even closer to our sustainability goals.”
The batteries will be supplied by Samsung and each rack is the size of a large domestic fridge-freezer. Each one has a capacity of 94.5KW, with the total planned capacity equating to 756KW. The batteries will be able to store 40 percent of the power generated by the solar roof panels. The system will also power electric car charging points in the car park. Solarcentury will manage the installation, and its ongoing maintenance and monitoring systems. The project is expected to be completed in early September 2018.
The biomass boiler and chipper, supplied by Austrian company Fröling, provides 100 percent renewable heat for the site, heating the offices and meeting the building’s hot water needs. About 180 tonnes of waste wood will fuel the boiler each year, including a large volume of the site’s own wood waste. The biomass boiler will replace 600,000 kWh of gas consumption per year.
Jeremy Parsons, Head of Energy and Renewables, Kingfisher, said, “This investment at our Swindon distribution center reflects our wider approach to energy strategy to help both our business and our customers improve energy efficiency.”