STORE SPACES

H-E-B Marks Wind-Turbine Installation

BY CSA STAFF

(Oct. 1) H-E-B, the San Antonio-based supermarket chain, and Wind Energy Corp. of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, celebrated the successful installation of a state-of-the-art vertical-axis turbine at the chain’s retail support center in Weslaco, Texas. The turbine, which has been installed adjacent to the facility, is now generating electricity and operating at speeds as low as four miles per hour.

“H-E-B is thrilled to be a part of this landmark achievement in the development of energy solutions,” said Shelley Parks, director of South Texas Public Affairs for H-E-B. “At the outset, we have looked at this research and development partnership as a unique opportunity for us to conduct our business in a responsible and sustainable way while contributing to the development of a revolutionary energy solution. Today validates our initial investment, and we look forward to continuing to work with Wind Energy Corp. to understand viable alternative energy solutions.”

The partnership between H-E-B and Wind Energy, which was announced in February 2008, consists of an 18-month to 24-month wind-resource research project at the Weslaco site. The turbine is located atop a 100-ft.-tall tower and is flanked by two 195-ft.-tall meteorological towers, which were installed in March and have been collecting high-resolution wind data for the past six months.

“This successful installation and the generation of electricity at low wind speeds will revolutionize the renewable energy marketplace,” said James Fugitte, chairman and CEO of Wind Energy.

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STORE SPACES

Price Chopper Unveils Green Initiatives

BY CSA STAFF

Schenectady, N.Y. Price Chopper announced Friday that it is continuing the company’s green focus by engaging in two eco-friendly building projects and an energy-awareness campaign.

In addition to a previously announced partnership with commercial-refrigeration systems manufacturer Hill Phoenix on the design and installation of the first next-generation CO2 refrigeration system in North America at a newly remodeled store in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Price Chopper said it has other environmentally friendly irons in the fire.

Other green programs under way at Price Chopper include:

• A continuous improvement effort that has led to a reduction in lighting and oven usage overnight, reduced neon signage, lighting and fan retrofits, excess spotlight removal, motion-sensor installations, and an ongoing chainwide energy awareness campaign;

• A new Colonie, N.Y., store will be the first silver level LEED-certified supermarket in New York State;

• The company’s new main office complex in downtown Schenectady will incorporate recycled materials, daylight harvesting, raised flooring to allow for more efficient installation of electrical and HVAC components, energy-management controls, rainwater harvesting for irrigation, fuel cells to supplement power from the grid, and photovoltaics as it pursues gold-level LEED certification.

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California seeks to ban free, single-use carryout bags in retail

BY CSA STAFF

New York City The California State Assembly on Wednesday narrowly approved a bill would make California the first state in the nation to ban single-use plastic and paper bags from being handed out free of charge at supermarkets, drug stores, convenience stores and liquor stores.

The proposed law would apply to supermarkets, chain pharmacies and other large grocery retailers beginning Jan. 1, 2012, and at convenience stores, neighborhood markets and liquor stores beginning July 1, 2013.

The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration. It is being supported by the California Grocers Association.

“AB 1998 [the number of the bill] creates a uniform, statewide standard to help level the playing field among food retailers,” said California Grocers Association president Ronald Fong. “It addresses the issue of single-use carryout bags across all California jurisdictions and provides the most environmental gain with the least competitive disruption for retailers.”

Under the new legislation, shoppers who don’t bring their own bags to the store would have to purchase paper bags (made of at least 40% recycled material) or reusable totes from the store.

The statewide ban would be the nation’s first. It now moves on to the Senate. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has said that he supports it.

Some 19 billion bags a year are used by California’s 38 million people. According to the bill’s the sponsor, Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, the state spends $25 million annually to collect and bury a portion of them.

China and Bangladesh already have plastic bag bans in place, and the United Nations has called for the bans to go global. North Carolina has banned plastic bags on its Outer Banks.

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