By Michelle Fabio
In the ongoing challenge to find alternative energy sources, one store in the United Kingdom has turned to its produce section–tomatoes in particular.
Through Green Energy UK and a process called Combined Heat and Power (CHP) the checkouts, lights, and refrigerators of Waitrose Supermarket in Rickmansworth are being powered by electricity generated from tomatoes according to this article at FemaleFirst.
The tomatoes are located in greenhouses in Chichester and Stanstead; as they create carbon dioxide, heat is generated for the greenhouses and that heat turns turbines producing electricity. This electricity goes into the national grid, and the supermarket is entirely powered by the energy created from the tomatoes.
Once the tomatoes are done providing energy, i.e., once they’re full ripened, they are then sold in the store.
Founder and Chief Executive of Green Energy UK Doug Stewart says: “Electricity from growing tomatoes is extremely positive because it has multiple benefits and no waste — all the heat is used for warming the greenhouses, the CO2 is ‘fed’ to the plants and the electricity goes to consumers and businesses who want green power. It’s great to work with Waitrose on a project like this because it makes a great deal of sense to use these resources. It’s an excellent piece of joined-up-thinking.”
Although this report has met with some criticism for perhaps exaggerating the claim that tomatoes are providing energy, the idea certainly seems to be a step in the right direction for a greener planet.