12 Nov 2008

Wind power for supermarket?

Wind power for supermarket?
Last week I got a call from The Citizen to comment on a planning application by Tesco who want to put up the 10.6m high turbines at its St Oswald's Road, Gloucester store. Strangely when my phone rang I was less than 3 metres from the Citizen office in Stroud so was able to go into the warm there.

Yesterday they covered the story - here is what they wrote:

If Tesco gets planning approval, each six kilowatt turbine would be fed into the collective electricity supply for the store. One of these turbines can provide enough power to sustain four households per year, and save 13.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide, said Tesco spokesman Adam Fisher.

"These particular turbines are designed specifically for built-up areas because they are silent and they work very well with low wind speeds," he said. "Traditional wind turbines of wind farms only use wind from one direction, but these can work with wind from different directions. This investment forms part of our community plan to cut energy use and is about finding more practical ways to use renewable energy. If we get the go-ahead, the turbines, which are inaudible and increasingly efficient, will help meet the energy needs and lower the carbon footprint of the store. We hope customers are as excited about this as we are and hope it demonstrates in a clear way our commitment to tackling climate change."

An application for planning permission to put the turbines up was received by Gloucester City Council on October 31, but no detailed plans are available, as Tesco has not yet paid the correct application fee. Gloucestershire Green Party press officer Philip Booth said Tesco could do a lot more to save energy, considering its vast resources.

"It's great that companies like Tesco are exploring options for renewable energy," he said. "But with Tesco making more than £2bn in profits, this smacks a little of tokenism. There are a lot of issues around the way Tesco distributes its products, for example."

But Gloucester City Council leader Paul James backed the plans. He said: "I think it is good news that Tesco is taking its environmental responsibility seriously. I think there is a growing acceptance that wind turbines are a necessary and positive thing. I don't think they will look out of place, they won't be a blot on the landscape at St Oswalds, it's not like they will be next to anything historical or sensitive."

The application could be ruled on by December 4. You can leave a comment on The Citizen's website here.

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