PSI Global x Sainsbury’s

Sherwood Power and Sainsbury’s: Pioneering Sustainability in Cold Storage Distribution



In a groundbreaking collaboration aimed at drastically reducing CO2, NOx, and particulate matter emissions, Sherwood Power joined forces with Sainsbury’s, one of the UK’s leading supermarket chains, to replace traditional diesel-powered refrigeration units with an innovative electric solution. This initiative forms part of the wider commitment by both organizations to support the UK’s net-zero objectives, demonstrating the commercial viability and environmental benefits of industrial fuel-switching technologies.


Project Overview



Sherwood Power spearheaded a feasibility study focused on the electrification of trailer refrigeration units (TRUs) at one of Sainsbury’s temperature-controlled distribution hubs. Traditionally, these units relied on diesel engines to maintain temperature control when not connected to the main vehicle, contributing significantly to local air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.


The aim was clear: to explore the viability of substituting these diesel motors with an electrical docking station connection. This would enable the TRUs to remain refrigerated during loading and awaiting dispatch without emitting harmful pollutants. A significant challenge was the additional electricity demand this switch would introduce, prompting Sherwood Power to quantify the required site capacity increase and identify operational opportunities through TRU electrification.

Implementation and Impact

Sherwood Power, alongside partners including Imperial Consultants and Colehouse Communications, delivered the project flawlessly, on time, and within budget. Transitioning from diesel to electricity for TRU operations required a comprehensive reevaluation of the electricity distribution infrastructure, revealing the need for a 500 kW capacity increase to support this switch, translating to an impressive potential carbon savings of up to 2,850 tonnes CO2 equivalent annually, depending on the electricity source.

The project highlighted a critical insight: the shift towards net-zero is placing an unparalleled demand on the UK’s electricity network. Sherwood Power’s initiative with Sainsbury’s demonstrates a successful model for businesses to mitigate energy costs and supply risks through local renewable generation, significantly contributing to the decarbonisation of the industrial sector.

Conclusion and Future Directions

The success of this collaboration underlines the potential for large-scale replication across the UK, promising substantial environmental benefits. By installing on-site renewable energy generation and storage, businesses can significantly reduce their carbon footprint and reliance on the national grid, paving the way for a sustainable, net-zero future.

This case study exemplifies Sherwood Power’s commitment to innovative energy solutions, setting a benchmark for environmental stewardship in the commercial sector and beyond. As Sherwood Power continues to explore and expand its technologies, the possibilities for contributing to a cleaner, greener planet are limitless.