Tesco has found an unlikely eco-friendly source of energy to power its Goole distribution centre – straw.

The retailer has been given the go-ahead to build Britain’s first straw-fuelled biomass power plant to meet the centre’s energy needs.

The amount of electricity and heat generated from the straw would be enough to fuel eight Tesco superstores, it said, with any excess then sold back to the grid.

“We’ve set ourselves stretching targets to reduce the carbon intensity of our business, and energy from renewable sources is a key part of our strategy,” said David North, Tesco’s community and government director. 

As the CO2 emissions of the process were equal to the amount straw absorbs while growing, the energy was carbon-neutral, Tesco said. It also has plans to develop a smaller plant at its Livingston Distribution Centre.