Walgreens installs geothermal energy system
Deerfield, Ill. Walgreens on Monday announced the opening of the nation’s first drugstore chain location to utilize geothermal energy for heating and cooling. The store, in Oak Park, Ill., is expected to reduce its energy usage by about 46% as a result of the geothermal system.
Walgreens worked on its Oak Park location with Evanston, Ill.-based Indie Energy, which specializes in designing and installing geothermal systems. The company’s Smart Geothermal technology system significantly cuts heating and cooling costs and helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“This is the most innovative and sustainable Walgreens yet and we are proud to showcase our commitment to the environment here in Oak Park,” said Walgreens VP facilities development Tom Connolly. “We are always looking for new and creative ways to reduce our carbon footprint. After considering the use of geothermal, we have now made it a reality.”
Walgreens’ geothermal system harnesses the earth’s heat utilizing a network of four closed-loop boreholes installed to depths of 650 ft., and a heat-exchange system with the building that is controlled by Indie’s Energy EnergyLoop technology. A water-based heat transfer liquid exchanges heating and cooling energy with the earth, which provides a constant temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Inside the store, the geothermal heat pump and refrigeration systems pull heating energy from the fluid, or reject heat to the fluid to cool. The EnergyLoop system monitors and optimizes this exchange in real-time to provide the maximum energy efficiency.
“This type of system can work anywhere, but makes a lot of sense here in the Midwest,” said Connolly. “The ability to heat to room-temperature from 55 degrees, rather than from 10 degrees or cool it from 98 degrees will save a lot of energy.”
The store was also built with other green features, including a dimming system for sales floor lighting when natural sunlight is able to brighten most of the sales floor and polished concrete floors made from recycled content. Also, LED lights are used throughout the store in coolers and in ceiling accent lighting.
NRDC to add solar panels to three New Jersey shopping centers
Purchase, N.Y. National Realty & Development Corp. said Tuesday it plans to add solar panels to the roofs of three New Jersey shopping centers, a significant step toward reducing energy consumption and lower operating costs for their tenants, the shopping center owner and developer said.
NRDC has entered into a purchase agreement with Solaire Energy Systems, a San Diego, Calif.-based developer of clean energy.
Walmart Plaza in Clinton, N.J., Kohl’s Plaza in Holmdel, N.J., and CooperTowne Center in Somerdale, N.J., will receive these new upgrades the first part of 2011.
“National Realty & Development strives to be at the forefront with its sustainable building practices and is excited about our plans to use this renewable energy,” said John Orrico, president of NRDC. “The addition of solar energy will prove to be beneficial to our tenants and the community in which these shopping centers operate. Tenants will see a reduction in utility costs and a beneficial impact on the environment.”
Sears and J.C. Penney among top finishers in EPA energy competition
New York City A Sears store in Glen Burnie, Md., and a J.C. Penney store in Orange, Calif., took second and third place respectively in the U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s first-ever National Building Competition. Top finisher: A dorm at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The competition challenged teams from buildings across the country to see which commercial building could trim its energy use the most over 24 months. The EPA required utility-bill statements for verification of the energy loss.
Sears reduced energy use in its Glen Burnie location by 31.7%, generating $45,612 savings in energy bills. In addition, the store’s carbon footprint was reduced by more than 272 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
The J.C. Penney store achieved an energy reduction of 28.4%. It is part of a group of 63 J.C. Penney store that participate in the chain’s Advanced Energy Management Program, which stresses a focus on energy awareness on both the facility maintenance and store associate level.
“The amazing results of the first-ever National Building Competition prove that any building can take simple steps to slash energy use, save thousands of dollars and protect the environment,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Our top participants together saved nearly a million dollars by cutting energy use, and that’s just in the first year. We look forward to seeing even greater savings and energy innovations in the years ahead.”