TESCO plans to build two 35ft-tall wind turbines at a superstore in south Essex.

Electricity generated by the towers will be fed directly into the Tesco Extra store, at the Mayflower Retail Park, in Gardiners Link, Basildon, in a bid to cut about seven tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

Each turbine will be built on two parking spaces and will be a long way from the nearest homes, to avoid creating a noise nuisance.

Unlike the more traditional turbines, which have blades resembling a helicopter’s propeller, the WindRotar design will have two sections, each housing six vertical aerofoils.

It is estimated each machine will generate enough electricity to power four average UK households.

A planning application has been submitted and Basildon Council is expected to make a decision by the end of August.

Green Party member Ernie Humphries, 60, of Stebbings, Basildon, was pleased with the initiative.

He said: “I know some people say they are a blot on the landscape, but so are power cables.

“We need to stop relying on our limited supplies of fossil fuels if we are going to tackle global warming.

“It is encouraging to see such a big company moving in the right direction.”

Malcolm Buckley, cabinet member for the environment, said: “I think Tesco has realised it makes financial sense to have a supply of cheap, renewable energy.

“Hopefully, other businesses will follow suit.”

Tesco spokesman David Nieberg said the company has already installed about 20 wind turbines nationwide in a programme to reduce its carbon footprint by 50 per cent by 2020.

He said: “These particular turbines are designed specifically for built-up areas, because they are silent and work very well with low wind speeds.

“Traditional wind turbines only use wind from one direction, but these can work with wind from different directions.”

Tesco has 2,109 stores in the UK and another 2,000 worldwide producing 4.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.