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Asda to trial hydrogen fuel cells

Asda to trial hydrogen fuel cells

Date: 11 August 2020

Asda is due to test hydrogen fuel cells to power manual handling equipment in its Skelmersdale Chilled Distribution Centre (CDC) in Greater Manchester.

80% reduction of carbon footprint in the area

Through this initiative, the retailer aims to reduce its carbon footprint in the area by 80%. The fuel cells, which are produced by company Plug Power, have twice the power of lead acid batteries and release zero emissions, with water the only bi-product.

The trial could see the retailer reduce carbon dioxide in this one site by 120 kilograms of CO2 and around 300,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year.

The cells work via a simple connector - not dissimilar in the way batteries are currently connected - which powers the cells and the equipment. The refuel takes less than 90 seconds to complete and is significantly shorter than lead batteries, which can take up to 15 minutes.

‘A significant impact on our carbon footprint’

Darren Pettner, General Manager at Asda's Skelmersdale CDC, commented: “Being a sustainable business is a big priority for us, so we are delighted to introduce a new way of working which will have a significant impact on our carbon footprint.

“We are excited about the possibilities this trial presents and what we could achieve in the future.”

The trial is part of Asda’s pledge to reduce its scope one and two emissions by 50% by 2025. The retailer has already reduced its energy use in stores by 20%, and uses the same amount of energy as it it did in 2005, despite its estate being 200% bigger.