ocean energy

Supermarket giant fits out biggest store in England with geothermal heating and cooling

Sainsbury’s has opened its extended Crayford store in southern England. The store, which has a surface area of over 9,000 square metres, is the largest in its estate and features “world leading” geothermal technology.

The extension to the Crayford store in Greater London – which means it is now two and a half times bigger than its original size – is just a part of a series of recent store openings for Sainsbury's. "This is a very exciting time for Sainsbury's… With Crayford we have worked hard to deliver an innovating, exciting store that has a number of new features, several of which are a first for Sainsbury's,” announced Mike Coupe, Sainsbury's Group Commercial Director.

According to the company, the extended store includes “the world first's use of technology” which heats the store using natural energy captured through boreholes buried hundreds of metres beneath the ground. The new “geo exchange” system, which the company claims is “exclusive to Sainsbury's”, will use an advanced ground-source heat pump linked to 200-metre boreholes that capture and store waste heat from the store.

“This is cutting-edge stuff and as a small renewable energy start-up, we were delighted that Sainsbury’s was forward-thinking enough to use this technology. We’re very proud that this is a UK invention… and shows Sainsbury’s is serious about using new ways for making its business sustainable for the future,” explained Grahame Newton, CEO of Greenfield Energy, the British based company behind the geo exchange system.

Sainsbury’s declared in a recent press release that the geothermal solution is cutting edge because of the way in which thermal energy is managed intelligently at the store. The system can simultaneously produce heating and cooling, and never before has a closed loop borehole system been integrated with carbon dioxide refrigeration.

The supermarket chain calculate that the technology will reduce the store’s overall energy consumption by around 30% compared to a typical store, and has the potential to revolutionise supermarkets’ approach to thermal energy use across the world. “Despite the store being two and a half bigger than before, it has the same carbon footprint as the smaller store,” concluded the company.

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