Some major chains have turned to fuel cell technology to help reduce their carbon footprint and their dependence on the electrical grid. Fuel cells provide clean, quiet, and reliable power to an industry that cannot afford to experience electricity outages. Stores are using fuel cells to generate heat, hot water, electricity, and even to power vehicles.
Elizabeth Delmont | Fuel Cells 2000
Whole Foods Market has taken significant steps to reduce their chain’s environmental impact and has voluntarily taken steps to ensure that their new stores have smaller a carbon footprint. In 2008, Whole Foods became the first grocery store to generate 50% of its power on-site at a new store in Connecticut that features a UTC Power fuel cell power system. The fuel cell generates 50% of the store’s power, 100% of the hot water, and waste heat is used in the heating and cooling system. The fuel cell also provides back up power in case of a grid outage. Carbon emissions are reduced by 90 metric tons a year and NOx emissions are reduced by 2 metric tons a year. The store also saves more than 4 million gallons of water by using the fuel cell. The system works so well that Whole Foods is installing one in its new store opening in fall 2009 in Dedham, Massachusetts. The Dedham store will house a 400 kW UTC Power fuel cell system that will meet 90% of the store’s electricity needs. The fuel cell will also provide hot water, heating and cooling, and back up power.
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