Asda wants wind power at DC

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Asda has submitted plans to build a 290 ft high wind turbine in the car park at its distribution depot at Foxbridge Way in Normanton, West Yorkshire, as part of its overall plans to power all of its distribution centres using renewable energy.

The company has plans to put up six turbines around the UK as a pilot project, which will be further rolled out if successful. Ultimately Asda would like to operate all of its 24 distribution centres with wind turbines. However, it has admitted that there could be planning issues.

The pilot scheme is expected to cost £12m, with each turbine costing £2m. It has two additional planning applications for turbines in Falkirk and Grangemouth in Scotland at present. Each of the two-mega watt turbines will be capable of producing enough electricity to power a million square feet of refrigerated warehouse.

Environment manager Ian Bowles said: “Wind turbines have the potential to alter the way in which we source our energy. Our ambition is to have a distribution system that is powered from 100 per cent renewable sources.”

The company has also entered into a Climate Change Levy agreement with the government and committed to reducing energy consumption in the most intensive areas of its store operations by 10 per cent.

Bowles added: “As a direct participant in the UK Emissions Trading Scheme we have committed to reducing carbon emissions by 80,000 tons by 2007. Introducing more energy efficient stores to our chain will help us hit this target.”

Asda has overtaken Tesco as Britain’s fastest-growing major food retailer for the first time in three years. In the four weeks to 5 November, Asda delivered a 7.6 per cent rise in grocery sales. Tesco and J Sainsbury both saw sales growth of between five and six per cent.

In addition, Asda has purchased the freehold of a 655,000 sq ft warehouse unit to be constructed at Redhouse Projects’ Redhouse Interchange at Carcroft near Doncaster for an undisclosed amount. The facility will be developed for Asda by Gazeley in conjunction with Redhouse Projects.

Gazeley has started construction of the new warehouse, which will be used as a national distribution centre for Asda non-food merchandise, with phased completion from March to August 2007. The distribution facility will create 600 jobs.

Agents at Redhouse Interchange are DTZ Debenham Tie Leung and Gent Visick.

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