South Windsor, Conn. UTC Power, part of United Technologies Corp., on Monday announced that Whole Foods Market will power its new store in San Jose, Calif., with on-site fuel cell power. It is the third Whole Foods store to install UTC Power’s PureCell system (the other locations are in Dedham, Mass., and Glastonbury, Conn.), and the first supermarket in California to generate the majority of its power using a fuel cell.
Fuel cells are one of the cleanest energy-generation sources available in the world and meet the strictest U.S. emission standards, according to UTC Power. Highly energy efficient and virtually pollution-free, fuel cells produce electricity, heat and water through an electrochemical process.
The new Whole Foods Market is now under construction and will cover approximately 50,000 sq. ft. The UTC Power fuel cell system will generate 90% of the store’s electricity needs and its byproduct thermal energy will be used for store heating, cooling and refrigeration for an overall efficiency of approximately 60%, nearly twice the efficiency of the U.S. electrical grid.
By generating most of its power on-site with a fuel cell, the new Whole Foods store will prevent the release of more than 370 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually -- the equivalent of planting more than 85 acres of trees. The reductions in nitrogen oxide emissions compared with a conventional power plant are equal to the environmental benefit of removing 92 cars from the road.
“Whole Foods Market is excited to be able to use this clean and highly efficient technology at our new San Jose store,” said Kathy Loftus, Whole Foods Market global leader of sustainable engineering, maintenance and energy. “This will help reduce our impact on the environment and lessen our overall energy demands from traditional sources.”