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New Whole Foods Market to generate bulk of power with fuel cell

BY CSA STAFF

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.”

 

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United Natural Foods awarded EPA’s Energy Star Rating for its distribution facility

BY CSA STAFF

Providence, R.I. United Natural Foods’ Chesterfield, N.H., distribution center has been awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star rating, marking it as one of the most efficient distribution facilities in the nation for superior energy efficiency and environmental protection. Energy Star is a leading national metric for evaluating building energy efficiency.

To qualify, the Chesterfield facility had to place among the top 25% of the most energy-efficient facilities in the U.S. Buildings that earn the Energy Star rating typically utilize 35% less energy and emit 35% less CO2 into the atmosphere when compared with average buildings. Additionally, the facility meets or exceeds standards for thermal comfort, indoor air quality and luminance levels.

Features at United Natural Foods’ Chesterfield distribution center that support its rating include energy-efficient, motion-activated T-8 lighting in the full-case warehouse area and motion-activated T-5 lighting for the repack mezzanine. Committed to exceptional indoor air quality, as well as energy-usage reduction, the company implemented enhancements to the administration area’s HVAC system including the replacement of the main office air-conditioning unit as well as upgrades to the duct system that greatly improved efficiency in the delivery of both heating and cooling.

The 319,000-sq.-ft. Chesterfield facility serves as a regional distribution hub for customers in New England; New Jersey; metro New York and all of New York State. Thirty percent of the total floor space within the facility is served by mechanical cooling equipment. Repack selection utilizes paperless “pick-to-light” technology, which greatly reduces the amount of paper used in order processing.

“Further demonstrating our ongoing and deep commitment to environmental stewardship, we have been focused on operating energy efficient and sustainable buildings across our entire supply chain, and we are very pleased to receive this prestigious recognition,” said Tom Dziki, senior VP sustainable development.

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Report sees big uptick in use of ‘smart’ electricity meters

BY CSA STAFF

Scottsdale, Ariz. “Smart” electricity meters, which enable two-way communication between the meter and the utility, and may enable greater consumer control over consumption, are being deployed at an increasing pace, especially in North America and Europe.

According to a new study from ABI Research, the number of smart electric meters deployed worldwide will rise from a 2009 level of 76 million to about 212 million in 2014.

“As momentum for infrastructure renewal grows, a number of factors are driving the process,” said Sam Lucero, practice director, ABI Research. “High on the list are government regulators. In the United States, $3.4 billion in federal economic stimulus funding was directed to smart grid development in November 2009. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007) directly encourages smart grid technology adoption by the states, and funds NIST’s [National Institute of Standards and Technology] efforts to develop a standards-based technology framework to facilitate smart grid adoption.”

Other drivers include: efficiency and reliability gains; environmental concerns; improved customer service; and increasing energy market competition.

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