Cainiao uses photovoltaics to power warehouses
Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, today began to utilise electricity generated with photovoltaic (PV) power generation systems on its bonded warehouses, which spans over 100,000 square meters. Located in Hangzhou and Ningbo in Zhejiang Province, these are the first warehouses to adopt renewable energy sources within the local bonded zone.
They can store 7.862 megawatts of energy with an annual power output of over 8 million kilowatts hour (kWh), or approximately the energy consumption of 3,000 households a year. This initiative is estimated to reduce carbon emissions by 5,535 tons a year, equivalent to the yearly carbon intake of 700,000 trees.
The PV power system on these warehouses generate close to 2,400 tons of coal per year. Installed on unused spaces such as the warehouse roof, the solar power system enables Cainiao to produce its own electricity to support warehouse operations while contributing towards the State Grid, China’s electric utility corporation, for broader usage. This safeguards the energy supply for the warehouses, and helps to reduce the cost of energy consumption, save energy, and reduce carbon emissions.
In the warehouse in Xiasha, the electrical output is then used to power energy-efficient operating systems. For example, the energy-saving lighting system measures the amount of light within the warehouse via sensors in real-time to automatically adjust the number of lights to switch on. Energy-saving conveyor belts will also be able to automatically start or stop the motor based on the real-time parcel volume.
“The successful launch of Cainiao’s first warehouse zone with a photovoltaic power generation system is just the beginning of sustainable measures that we have planned. We aim to build an eco-friendly global logistics network for our merchants and brands across the globe to reduce carbon footprints together,” shared Sun Beibei, General Manager, Global Supply Chain, Import Business, Cainiao.
By 2023, Cainiao and its partner ecosystem is expected to install rooftop PV generation systems on Cainiao’s bonded warehouses that spans a total of 500,000 square meters. While striving to reduce carbon emissions along other aspects of the logistics value chain including storage, computing, packaging and delivery, Cainiao aims to establish an industry benchmark on green logistics through the utilization of renewable energy and amplification of recycling capabilities.