Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, today began to utilise electricity generated with photovoltaic power generation systems on its bonded warehouses, which spans over 100,000 sq m.
Located in Hangzhou and Ningbo in Zhejiang Province, these are the first warehouses to adopt renewable energy sources within the local bonded zone. Cainiao reports that 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 tonnes a year, equivalent to the yearly carbon intake of 700,000 trees.
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.
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, says the logistics company.
“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.