Pottsville, Pa. Wegmans Food Markets has received a $1 million grant from the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority for the implementation of hydrogen fuel-cell-powered handling equipment at its Retail Service Center in Pottsville, Pa.
Since the only byproducts of hydrogen fuel cells are heat and water, they are environmentally friendlier than the lead-acid batteries currently used to power Wegmans handling equipment, such as pallet jacks and reach trucks.
In November, the retailer will launch a three-phase project, during which the company will convert its entire lift truck fleet at the facility to hydrogen fuel cells, allowing for increased productivity, lower operating costs and reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions, according to Wegmans.
The first phase will include the installation of an on-site hydrogen infrastructure installation, which includes an outdoor hydrogen storage tank and indoor fueling dispensers.
“In terms of sustainability, energy reduction is one of our top priorities,” said Mike Cullen, Wegmans VP distribution planning, in a statement. “This investment in fuel cell technology will help our employees, our business and our community.”
U.S. retailers looking for a much-needed sales boost may find a glimmer of hope in a survey released on Tuesday showing consumers have not yet finished the majority of their back-to-school shopping.