Green Technology Featured Articles
March 11, 2008

Supermarket To Be Powered By Fuel Cell Technology



For those who might not know, Whole Foods Market is a retailer of natural and organic foods. America’s first certified organic grocer, Whole Foods has strong ties to all the communities they operate in, and care deeply about the environment. The organization is at the forefront of many environmental initiatives, and runs its business in accordance with core values that see them constructing stores with green building methods, supporting local vendors and farmers, using compostable, all-natural fiber containers in its salad and food bars, and offsetting 100 percent of its electricity through renewable energy credits.
 
Tomorrow the company will further minimize their impact on the environment and the local electricity grid, when they open a brand-new supermarket in Glastonbury, CT. Whole Foods is announcing the opening of the first supermarket in the world to use fuel cell technology to power its store.
 
According to a company news release, Whole Foods Market is leveraging fuel cell technology to generate half of the electricity to operate the store, and 100 percent of the hot water.
 
The fuel cell technology that will be deployed at the Glastonbury market uses an electrochemical process that combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, heat, and water, without the need to burn any fossil fuels.
 
The fuel cell power plant was built by UTC Power, a United Technologies Company with whom Whole Foods has signed a 15-year service and maintenance agreement.
 
Designed to generate 200 kilowatts of power, the service agreement allows for an upgrade that will allow the plant to generate up to twice that amount after five years.
 
Costs were not disclosed, but it was announced that the Connecticut Clean Energy (News - Alert) Fund provided $940,000 via a grant.
 
According to the Whole Foods company Web site, a typical Whole Foods Market uses up to 500 kilowatts daily during peak summer hours and 300 kilowatts in the winter.

The Whole Foods Market is located at 55 Welles St., Glastonbury, CT in the Fox Run Mall, and is scheduled be 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days per week.
 
Launched in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market now boasts over 270 stores in North America and the UK.
 
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