Sainsbury’s is piloting an energy management programme at two of its distribution centres which could see it receiving payments from the National Grid.
The aim is to reduce power consumption temporarily during times of grid stress. In return, National Grid pays for these demand reductions, which provides Sainsbury’s with a new revenue stream for managing its energy consumption more intelligently.
The retailer is working with KiWi Power, which has designed an energy management programme that Sainsbury’s is piloting at the Hams Hall and Waltham Point distribution centres. This will enable power consumption to be temporarily reduced during times of grid stress.
Allen Macadam, Sainsbury’s logistics change project manager, said: “We are pleased to be at the forefront of this pilot programme with KiWi Power. Not only are we able to help reduce our carbon footprint, but we have also been able to reduce our energy costs. There has also been no change to the day-to-day operation within the two pilot depots and we have managed to implement the solution without requiring any investment.”
Some ten per cent of the UK’s electricity capacity comes from peaking power stations. These power stations are highly polluting and expensive to run, and are used by National Grid to satisfy peaks in demand and avoid blackouts.
Typical examples are warm days when air conditioning systems are working at full capacity, and during major sporting events such as the Olympics.
The results of the pilot in operational and financial terms are being reviewed and it is anticipated that the demand response solution will be rolled out across more depots.