Supermarket to be powered by cars in parking lot


The effort to keep business expenses low while trying to transition to a more green lifestyle has prompted a British super market to look to their parking lot to power their lights and run their cash register. And the idea may catch on for other power needs as well.

Sainsbury’s installed a new kinetic plating system in the parking lot lanes which generate power as a car drives over them. The way it works is that as a car moves over the plates, it’s hydraulic action turns a power generator creating up to 30 kilowatts of electricity. And apparently there’s enough flow through business that the energy generated is running the store’s power for lighting and cash transactions through their point of sale computer systems.

Additionally, Sainsbury is collecting rain water to use in the toilets, and larger floor to ceiling windows are making the interior brighter to lower needs for lighting. There are also plans of funneling unsold food to a biomass plant to generate further green power. But it’s the user of the kinetic plates that has the British government thinking similar technology can be harnessed to power street lights all over the city.

That’s an excellent example of how better ideas can not only save energy and better the environment, but create jobs for installing and maintaining it as it powers the system.