Golden Corral eateries cut energy with E2America’s HVAC controls
Wilmington, N.C. — Efficient Energy America (E2America) announced that Platinum Corral, a multi-state franchise operator of Golden Corral restaurants, has signed an agreement to install the supplier’s intelligent heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) control system in all 30 of its stores.
The automated, self-refining, wireless retrofit system will allow Platinum Corral to reduce both gas and electricity costs, usage and carbon emissions, the company said. Platinum Corral expects to lower its electricity costs by as much as $252,000, annually.
Platinum Corral’s previous energy initiatives included scheduled and preventative maintenance on HVAC compressors. But the company said it was not seeing significant savings, and was typically paying about $9,000 per store per month for gas and electricity.
Initially, the HVAC control system was installed in five Golden Corral restaurants whose electricity bills decreased by as much as $700 per store each month following the implementation.
"It took us a very short period of time to see the benefits in the five initial stores, and to realize how much more we could be saving by implementing E2America’s system in all 30 of our restaurants,” said Billy Sewell, president of Platinum Corral. “What’s more, managers in the first five stores have reported that the temperature consistently feels more balanced, and therefore much more comfortable for our staff and guests."
E2America worked with Platinum Corral’s utility providers to ensure that the company was able to take advantage of incentive programs offered to businesses that implement energy efficiency measures. Platinum Corral expects to qualify for a $5,000 to $8,000 electricity company rebate per store for installing the E2America technology. Additionally, federal legislation changes regarding capital expenditures and accelerated depreciation allow Platinum Corral to write off 100% of the remaining balance on its 2011 tax returns. This reduces the effective ROI to less than eight months.
Ikea’s solar system in Centennial, Col., store goes live
Centennial, Col. — Ikea on Tuesday officially plugged-in the solar energy system installed at its upcoming location in Centennial, Col. (the 415,000-sq.-ft. store is due to open on July 27).
The 60,000-sq.-ft. array consists of a 498-kW system, built with 2,212 panels. It will produce approximately 740,000 kWh of electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing at least 564 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 100 cars or powering 62 homes yearly.
The project – the largest single-use rooftop array on a commercial building in Colorado – will contribute to the local utility’s renewable portfolio goals and lower the carbon intensity of the electrical grid. Ikea contracted with California-based REC Solar, one of the largest U.S. solar electric providers, which specializes in grid-tied solar electric design and installation.
With this latest effort, Ikea now has six solar programs in the United States with installations pending at eight other stores. The Centennial local also will be the first U.S. Ikea store to incorporate a geothermal system for heating/cooling the building.
Safeway in DC earns LEED certification
New York City — Safeway’s store in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C, has earned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. The 71,067-sq.ft. store is the grocer’s second LEED-certified store, and the first LEED certified store in DC.
The store’s green building elements sunshade screens to reduce solar heat gain, and a storm water drainage system that collects and filters on site runoff from the parking lot and roof. It also features water efficient landscaping, including the use of drip irrigation with a landscape irrigation system water diverted from public sewer system by reuse of defrost waste water. Drought-tolerant native plants that require little or no irrigation help reduce the use of water.
Additional sustainable elements include:
- White “TPO” roofing, which reduces the heat island effect and decreases cooling requirements for the store;
- LED lighting in exterior signs, which reduce energy consumption by 80% or more compared to standard neon signs;
- No CFC refrigerants. Safeway exclusively uses R-507 in its refrigeration systems, an HFC refrigerant with low ozone depletion potential;
- Protocol-distributed refrigeration systems, which places the compressors closer to the various loads around the store to reduce the amount of copper piping in one store by about 35%. It also reduces the refrigerant charge by approximately 30%; and
- Centralized HVAC system, using R-410a, which is more energy efficient than R-22 and has zero ozone depletion potential.