The Screwfix store in Peterborough is powered by solar, air source heat pumps and battery storage. Image: Kingfisher.

Kingfisher has opened its first net zero energy store powered by a combination of solar with battery storage and air source heat pumps to generate and use as much power as it needs, passing the excess into the grid.

The Screwfix store in Peterborough utilises 24.3KW of solar on its roof in combination with air source heat pumps to power the site. Excess daytime generation is used to charge 10KW of onsite battery storage to power the store in the evening.

While Kingfisher has 8.8MW of installed solar capacity across its portfolio, as well as air source pumps to provide heating, the Peterborough store marks the first time these technologies have been combined with battery storage.

The air source heat pump has replaced gas and electric heating, and together with the solar PV system, heats the store more efficiently.

Any surplus is then passed back into the grid to offset days when the solar PV generates less power and grid energy is needed to power the store.

Jeremy Parsons, head of energy and renewables at Kingfisher, said: “Being able to create a zero energy store is a huge milestone for us. This store has a range of solutions that we have deployed individually across distribution centres and large format stores in the UK and France.

“Pulling them into one project at Screwfix demonstrates how far we can go towards creating very low carbon stores, and this approach is informing our next phase of investment in energy projects for the near future.”

The completion of the store is the first step in Kingfisher’s plans to become a net positive business.

It has reduced its absolute carbon footprint by 16% since 2010/11, with aims to increase this to 25% by 2020. The company meets all of its energy supply needs in the UK with renewable sources, covering both the Screwfix and B&Q businesses, and says it will have invested over £10 million in on-site renewables by the end of 2018.

Graham Bell, chief executive at Screwfix, commented: “We are investing now to cut energy across our own operations, and our long-term aspiration is to match this by helping customers have zero carbon or energy positive homes and businesses too.

“Our net zero store in Peterborough represents a significant milestone in our ambition to embed sustainability across the business, and help customers to create good, sustainable homes and businesses.”

Next, Kingfisher expects to install a commercial battery system at its Swindon distribution centre, which already utilises a solar PV installation and biomass boiler powered by waste wood from its own stores.

Caroline Laurie, head of Sustainability at Kingfisher, added: “We’re not taking our foot off the pedal; there is still much more we want to do in future.”