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Sainsbury’s pilots power demand response income stream

Sainsbury’s, a leading UK supermarket retailer has announced plans to pilot a pioneering demand response programme.

Image by Glen L2F1

KiWi Power, a smart grid and demand management company, has designed an energy management programme that Sainsbury’s is piloting in two of its distribution centres. This will enable power consumption to be temporarily reduced 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.

According to Kiwi, around 10 percent of the UK’s electricity capacity comes from peaking power stations. These power stations, it says, are highly polluting and expensive to run and are used by National Grid to satisfy peaks in demand and avoid blackouts. (For example, on warm days when air conditioning systems are working at full capacity and during major sporting events such as the Olympics).

Sainsbury’s operates a number of large, state of the art, distribution centres. Maintaining optimal conditions requires robust engineering that is backed up by the provision of standby generators to help maintain these conditions in the event of power failure.

The pilot at the two Sainsbury’s distribution centres is taking place at the Hams Hall depot, near Birmingham and the Waltham Point depot on the outskirts of London.

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.

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!”

Ziko Abram, KiWi Power’s co-founder said: “We are excited to be working in partnership with Sainsbury’s on this pilot and are very encouraged by their commitment. Sainsbury’s has already executed two successful demand response events in its first month of piloting.”

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