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16 March 2001

The UK's first ever 'on-site' commercial wind turbine is being installed at Sainsbury's Distribution Depot in Scotland, on Monday 19th March. Construction will take only three days and the turbine will 'go live' on Friday 30th March.

Demonstrating the world's most efficient wind technology, the 65m high Enercon E40, 600kW turbine is being built without subsidy by UK wind energy company Ecotricity, at Langlands Business Park, East Kilbride. The Ecotricity generated by the turbine is being sold without a premium to Sainsbury's and in the long term the power will cost less than conventional electricity.

Ecotricity is pioneering its Merchant Wind Power initiative (MWP) as a long term, price secure, renewable energy solution for businesses, which requires no capital investment from the customer.

Dale Vince, Managing Director of Ecotricity, says interest in Merchant Wind Power is growing fast, "Technological advances have made wind energy as economic as conventional fuel sources. The Merchant Wind Power initiative is an innovative opportunity, which allows organisations with an environmental agenda, like Sainsburys, to contribute to the building of new cleaner sources of electricity, without it having to cost them anything."

One of a new breed of advanced direct drive, variable speed machines, the wind turbine will generate around a third of the energy required at the 26,000 sq m depot, which operates 24hrs/7days a week and serves 33 stores in Scotland, Ireland and England. This directly replaces the equivalent amount of polluting conventional electricity, saving 1645 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), 19 tonnes of Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) and 6 tonnes of Nitrogen Oxide (NOX), every year.

The partnership confirms Sainsbury's long-term commitment to environmental improvement and is a significant step toward the company's targets to reduce CO2 emissions.

Ian Coull, Director of J Sainsbury plc, says of the project, "Renewable energy will play a growing part in Sainsbury's energy programme in the future. Merchant Wind Power has many unique features and it will enable us to investigate the potential of wind power without relying on Government subsidy and without paying more for our electricity."

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